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THE JEWISH VOL 12, NO 39 Q OCTOBER 11, 2013 / 7 CHESHVAN 5774


Signs of growth: Jewish Inwood Tying knots, making ďŹ re Boy Scout troop welcomes new old Sefer Torah 613: For Jews, ‘Be prepared’


community that could utilize it,â&#x20AC;? he explained. The Torah was donated by the Zachter family. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Torah was in pretty good shape,â&#x20AC;? Mayer pointed out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is symbolic, taking a Torah from the ashes of Europe into

a young growing community. That was a big part of the simcha, the symbolism.â&#x20AC;? Mayer said a few â&#x20AC;&#x153;pioneersâ&#x20AC;? moved to Inwood and the shul â&#x20AC;&#x201D; located within the Five Towns-Far Rockaway eruv â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Continued on page 16

Massive funeral for a great rabbi Baruch Dayan Emet: Rav Chaim Ovadia Yosef, zâ&#x20AC;?l

Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90


By Malka Eisenberg Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, one of the greatest halachic, Torah and Talmudic minds of our generation, passed away on Monday at the age of 93 in Jerusalem. Police reported that as many as 800,000 attended his funeral that evening, ten percent of the population of Israel. The funeral procession inched along the streets of Jerusalem, through the crush of mourners, from Yeshivat Porat Yosef, where the Rav had attended school as a youth and eulogies were delivered, to his burial at the Sanhedria cemetery. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tremendous loss,â&#x20AC;? said Rabbi Yitzhak Simantov of Congregation Shaare Emunah, the Sephardic Con-

gregation of the Five Towns on Oakland Avenue in Cedarhurst. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We saw the unity. All the gedolim (leading rabbis) closed the yeshivot, they sent the kollelim to the levaya.â&#x20AC;? The mourners reďŹ&#x201A;ected a cross section of Israeli society, from charedi to secular, since his rulings and teachings touched many. He is survived by ten children, one the current Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel. He was buried next to his wife, Margalit, who passed away at age 67 in 1994. Rabbi Yosef was born in Baghdad, Iraq, Sept. 23, 1920, the day after Yom Kippur. He immigrated to Jerusalem, then under British rule, at age four with his family. He excelled in his studies and reContinued on page 16

Shabbat Candlelighting: 6:03 p.m. Shabbat ends 7:00 p.m. 72 minute zman 7:31 p.m. Torah Reading Parshat Lech Lecha

By Malka Eisenberg Want to build a ďŹ re, tie a knot and learn ďŹ rst aid â&#x20AC;&#x201D; all in a Jewish context? These and other life skills are experienced by boys in sixth through 12th grades at Boy Scout troop number 613, now recruiting, in West Hempstead. Dr. Steve Mermelstein founded the troop ďŹ ve years ago at the Young Israel of Woodmere, when his son Andrew was involved in scouting. When Andrew, who attained the highest rank of Eagle scout, left for a year of study in Israel, Steve Kahn of West Hempstead became Scoutmaster and the troop moved to Congregation Anshei Shalom, where Kahn is president. Two of Kahnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sons are in the troop. Troop 613 follows typical Boy Scout programs, â&#x20AC;&#x153;except that they are kosher and focus on mitzvot, especially if they are camping overnight,â&#x20AC;? Kahn said. A Shabbat overnight camping trip would include a Sefer Torah with leining (Torah reading), and learning the laws of and building an eruv before Shabbat. A two-week summer camp is run with Boston-based Jewish troop 54. Over Sukkot, troop 613 joined with Brooklynâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jewish troop 611 at Camp Pouch on Staten Island for a two-night camping trip. They built a sukkah out of bamboo poles and rope, ate in the sukkah everyday, davened, and slept in tents, said Kahn. Troop 613 currently has 21 members and generally meets twice a month on Sundays from 6:30 to 8 pm, working through the different advancement requirements, accruing ranks and titles, learning skills and completing projects to earn merit badges to advance in rank. The titles run through scout, tenderfoot, second class, ďŹ rst class, star, life and the highest is Eagle Scout. Kahn noted that some of the skills the scouts learn include ďŹ rst aid, CPR, cooking, ďŹ re making, hiking, camping, knowledge of the United States Constitution and, speciďŹ cally for this Jewish troop, Jewish knowledge. Some of the Jewish knowledge includes Torah, history of Israel, Jewish laws and customs, and the Jewish calendar. The scouts can earn two Jewish badges: the Ner Tamid Award for 6th to 9th graders, a prerequisite to the second Jewish badge, the Etz Chaim Award for 10th to 12th graders. When the requirements have been completed the scouts have to â&#x20AC;&#x153;demonstrate proďŹ ciency in those areas to three members of the scouting committee.â&#x20AC;? The Jewish committee on scouting operates under the Boy Scouts of America, said Kahn. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The goal,â&#x20AC;? explained Kahn, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is to develop a wellrounded individual who enters the world and is preContinued on page 16


By Malka Eisenberg With music and dancing, more than 400 men, women and children welcomed a century-old Sefer Torah rescued from Europe into the growing and vibrant Bais TeďŹ la of Inwood at Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island, 321 Doughty Blvd. The event was originally planned for last autumn, but was delayed by Hurricane Sandy, that wreaked havoc one week before the scheduled date. Rabbis from across the Five Towns and Far Rockaway participated, in an inspiring display of unity. The Torah was carried with great respect and joy â&#x20AC;&#x153;very kavodik and laibydick (lively)â&#x20AC;? down Doughty Boulevard that was closed off by police, said Adam Mayer, board member and gabbai at Bais TeďŹ la. In the procession, from a shul memberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home on Morris Avenue to the yeshiva, congregants brought out the yeshivaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and shulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s existing Sifrei Torah and the crowd danced jubilantly with them. Participants then had a â&#x20AC;&#x153;full sit down seuda (meal)â&#x20AC;? in the Yeshiva Ketana dining room. It â&#x20AC;&#x153;was packed, standing room only,â&#x20AC;? Mayer said. The old Torah was â&#x20AC;&#x153;still usableâ&#x20AC;? but had to be repaired, said Yehuda Zachter, a member of the shulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s board. The anonymous donor wanted to put it â&#x20AC;&#x153;in a vibrant

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Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fast Mideast rise: What it means for Israel By Alina Dain Sharon and Sean Savage Fresh off brokering a deal to place Syrian chemical weapons under international control, Russia has reasserted itself as a Middle East power player, hearkening back to the days of the Cold War. Israel, meanwhile, enjoys much stronger bilateral relations with Russia than it did during the Soviet era. But will Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meteoric rise in the region change the nature of that relationship? Observers point to Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long-standing support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, close contact with Iran, and veto power on the U.N. Security Council as examples of its attempt to undermine U.S. supremacy in the Middle East for the sake of its own strategic goals. Russia often seems to say one thing and do another, critics say, that is also reďŹ&#x201A;ected in its surprisingly strongâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; though complexâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;relationship with Israel. Russian President Vladimir Putin once warned Israel of an impending Syrian poison gas attack, and Israel was the ďŹ rst country he visited after he was ďŹ rst elected. At the time, Putin spoke of how pleased he was to visit a country where more than a million Russianspeakers reside. But when it came to the recent Syrian chemical weapons crisis, IsraeliRussian relations werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as cordial. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve asked the Russians to stop supplying certain kinds of weapons to the region. We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always get the answer we wanted,â&#x20AC;? Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danny Dannon told In September, Russia capitalized on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comment that the conďŹ scation of Syrian chemical weapons would prevent U.S. military action against the Assad regime, pitching a plan to place the chemical weapons under international control just as U.S. President Barack Obama was preparing to seek congressional approval for an attack on Syria. Tatiana Karasova, head of the department of Israeli and Jewish Community Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation, told that a U.S. attack on Syriaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; which never materializedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;would have been â&#x20AC;&#x153;a painful blow for Russia, as it would manifest as evidence of Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s weakness, its inability to save its strategic ally.â&#x20AC;? An attack â&#x20AC;&#x153;would have completely destroyed its authority in the Middle East and consequently its image of a global power,â&#x20AC;? she added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The idea of putting Syrian chemical weapons under international control gives a

chance to prevent an American aerial attack on Syria, and would allow Russia and the U.S. to ďŹ nally reach points of agreement,â&#x20AC;? Karasova wrote in an email interview that was translated from Russian. Prior to its Syria initiative, Russia utilized its veto power on the U.N. Security Council to oppose efforts by Western powers to levy heavy sanctions on the Syrian regime. Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mideast alliances have not prevented it from cooperating with Israel in the areas of the economy, diplomacy, armaments, science, culture, and education, among other ďŹ eldsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a marked change in policy regarding the Jewish state that began two decades ago. After the 1967 Six-Day War, the Soviet Union cut off diplomatic relations with Israel. The relationship between Russia and Israel was marred by â&#x20AC;&#x153;a legacy of mutual misunderstanding, mutual demonizing representations and the absolute lack of objective informationâ&#x20AC;? in each nation about the other until the 1990s, Karasova said. Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intolerance of Israel also extended to Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own Jewish community. Even toward the end of the Soviet regime, there was still â&#x20AC;&#x153;extraordinary hatred and anti-Semitism that pervaded every single aspect of the Soviet administration,â&#x20AC;? said Isi Leibler, an international Jewish leader who was deeply active in Russia at the time. Leibler was arrested and expelled from Russia in 1980 but was later invited back, launching the ďŹ rst Jewish cultural center in the Soviet Union. According to Mark Levin, executive director of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ), Russian Jews are now â&#x20AC;&#x153;not dealing with state-sponsored anti-Semitism, which is a big shift.â&#x20AC;? The fact that a million Russian Jews immigrated to Israel in the 1990s and now reside in the Jewish state â&#x20AC;&#x153;had an impact not only internally, but on how Russians and the Russian government view Israel,â&#x20AC;? he said. Leibler believes that the Russian chemical weapons plan â&#x20AC;&#x153;has in a sense created an environment throughout the world of a declining American power [and] has brought the Russians back in a much stronger way in the Middle East,â&#x20AC;? in part due to the lack of resolve of the Obama administration. Russia can only strengthen its allegiance with Israel â&#x20AC;&#x153;by being on the same page on what Israel considers its most important issues,â&#x20AC;? according to NCSJâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Levin. That is not the case right now, he said, as the Russians are motivated by their quest to seek an upper hand over America in the region.

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October 11, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 7 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR




Independent and original reporting from the Orthodox communities of Long Island and New York City All opinions expressed are solely those of The Jewish Starâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s editorial staff or contributing writers Published weekly by The Jewish Star LLC, 2 Endo Boulevard, Garden City, NY 11530 Phone: 516-622-7461 â&#x2013; Fax: 516-569-4942 News releases: â&#x2013;  Calendar listings: Letters for publication: â&#x2013;  Ads: Publisher Editor Account Executive Editorial Designers Photo Editor

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Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2-state ďŹ xation pushes Israel to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iron Wallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;


hint of frustration ďŹ&#x201A;ashed across Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face when I asked him about the criticism he has received from American Jewish establishment organizations concerning his rejection of the two-state solution. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If American Jewish organizations will call upon the Israeli prime minister to ďŹ re me because of my opinion on the two-state solution, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crossing the line,â&#x20AC;? Danon told me on his recent visit to New York, referring to recent statements isVIEWPOINT sued by both the AntiDefamation League and the American Jewish Committee that charged him, as well as his ministerial colleague Naftali Bennett, with damaging Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s image because of their forthright views. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t imagine that the same Jewish organizations would have Ben Cohen, JNS called upon [the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Shamir to ďŹ re Shimon Peres when he was promoting one of his peace plans,â&#x20AC;? Danon added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the government leans to the left, they will support it â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;unconditionally.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; If the government is positioned to the right, you start to see maneuvering not to support it.â&#x20AC;? My purpose in relating this conversation is not to trigger yet another debate about the role of American Jewish organizations in dutifully restating the positions of the White House in their dealings with Israeli ofďŹ cials. Danonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comments are instructive because they demonstrate that inďŹ&#x201A;uential Israelis are reconsidering what has become, for both American Jewish leaders and the American administration, an article of faith: that the two-state solution is the only show in town. There is an understandable reluctance to question both the wisdom and the viability of a two-state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conďŹ&#x201A;ict. Traditionally, this has been the preserve of Palestinian extremists, like the Hamas regime in Gaza, who reject Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Gershon Elinson/FLASH90


very identity as a Jewish state. Equally, there is no reason to allow those who would happily annihilate Israel to frame the terms of the discussion. Israel has to make its calculations based upon its own interests. As far as Danon is concerned, Palestinian intransigence has left the case for the twostate solution looking ďŹ&#x201A;imsy. As he argued in a recent New York Times op-ed, Israel would be better off annulling the Oslo Accords and seeking a solution to the Palestinian issue that places more responsibility upon Egypt for the Gaza Strip, and more responsibility on Jordan for the West Bank. Such a stance is radically removed from the ofďŹ cial American position, which continues to pursue the two-state solution. Political analyst Yossi Klein Halevi suggests that Prime Minister Netanyahuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pledge that Israel â&#x20AC;&#x153;will not allow Iran to get nuclear weaponsâ&#x20AC;? means that a â&#x20AC;&#x153;strained relationship with the White Houseâ&#x20AC;? is a less risky option. Israel cannot allow vital security decisions to be determined by whatever ideas happen to be in vogue in Washington. Danon mentioned the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iron Wall,â&#x20AC;? a concept that originated with the great Revisionist Zionist leader Zeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ev Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky did not argue that an agreement with the Arabs is eternally doomedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;his point, which remains valid today, was that a sovereign Jewish state must approach the issue from a position of conďŹ dent strength. That doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean just military strength. It means having the courage, as Danny Danon does, to start thinking alternatively.

Until PA recognizes the JEWISH State of Israel, the conďŹ&#x201A;ict goes on


he American media seems shocked â&#x20AC;&#x201D; shocked! â&#x20AC;&#x201D; by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s speech calling for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the JEWISH State, giving it headline status. For example, UPI headlined, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Netanyahu: Palestinians must recognize Jewish homeland,â&#x20AC;? and reported: â&#x20AC;&#x153;For the [peace] process â&#x20AC;Ś to have a real chance of success, it is necessary to hear the Palestinian leadership ďŹ nally say that it recognizes the right of the Jewish people to a state of its own, which is the POLITICS TO GO state of Israel,â&#x20AC;? Netanyahu told Bar Ilan Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies Sunday. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I hope that it shall be so, so that we can advance a real solution to the conďŹ&#x201A;ict.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;After generations of incitement we have no conďŹ dence that recognition [of Israel] Jeff Dunetz will trickle down to the Palestinian people. Therefore, we need very strong security arrangements, and to go forward without blindness,â&#x20AC;? the prime minister said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The root of the conďŹ&#x201A;ict is the deep resistance among a hard core of Palestinians to the right of the Jewish people to its own state in Israel.â&#x20AC;? However, this is not a new demand for any Israeli prime minister including Netanyahu. He outlined the issue in a speech before Congress in May 2011: â&#x20AC;&#x153;You see, our conďŹ&#x201A;ict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state. This is what this conďŹ&#x201A;ict is about.â&#x20AC;Ś They continue to educate their children to hate. They continue to name public squares after terrorists. And worst of all, they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be ďŹ&#x201A;ooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;Ś President Abbas must do what I have done. I stood before my people [and I said], â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I will accept a Palestinian state.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; It is time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I will accept a Jewish stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.â&#x20AC;? The real issue is where the Palestinian refugees go. While the number of Palestinian refugees in 1949 was somewhere between 800,000 and 900,000, today the number is over 4 million. This group of refugees is the only example in history where the number of refugees has grown without a population shift (the UN counts the original refugees, their children, grandchildren, ďŹ rst cousins twice removed on their motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s side, friends, etc., as refugees). Israel and other countries absorbed more than 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries. One of the stated goals of the Palestinians is to ďŹ&#x201A;ood Israel (within the green lines) with Palestinian Muslims. Being a democracy, if Israel allows herself to be ďŹ&#x201A;ooded with mil-

lions of descendants of those 1948 refugees, she will cease to be the Jewish State, becoming instead just one more Muslim country in the Middle East. Abbas claims to recognize Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right to exist, but he refuses to recognize Israel as the Jewish state â&#x20AC;&#x201D; per UN Resolution 181 (that original partition resolution passed by the UN in November, 1947, calls for dividing Palestine into Independent Arab and Jewish States). And that refusal is part of the Palestiniansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; stated strategy to destroy Israel. No Palestinian leader has ever recognized the right of Israel to exist as the Jewish Homeland. The charter of Abbasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; FATAH party does not recognize Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right to exist in any form. Compounding the problem is the fact that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, has never called for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. He has called for the recognition of Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right to exist as a state, and has personally called Israel the Jewish State, but Obama has never called on the PA to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. On the other hand, every Israeli prime minster after Rabin recognized the right to a Palestinian Arab state (sorry, leftists, but Rabin did not recognize the need for a Palestinian state). This lack of recognition, and lack of demand by Obama, has stiďŹ&#x201A;ed the peace process. For example, in October 2010, negotiations were going on to convince Netanyahu to extend the building freeze in Judea and Samaria. The Israeli Prime Minister made a very simple offer to the PA. If they were to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, Israel would extend the building freeze indeďŹ nitely. As reported by Al Jazeera, the answer was a resounding no: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Netanyahuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proposal met with swift rejection from senior Palestinian ofďŹ cials.â&#x20AC;Ś Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior ofďŹ cial of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, described the settlement issue as â&#x20AC;&#x153;an aggression on Palestinian rights and land.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;What Israel calls itself is an Israeli matter that does not concern us. The two issues are not related,â&#x20AC;? he told Al Jazeera in reference to Netanyahuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s condition that Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state. Nabil Abu Rudainah, the spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said a return to peace talks required a freeze on settlement building by Israel. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The issue of the Jewishness of the state has nothing to do with the matter,â&#x20AC;? he told the Reuters news agency. According to Al Jazzeera, Abbas replied almost imminently with a resounding no.â&#x20AC;? The words â&#x20AC;&#x153;I recognize Israelâ&#x20AC;? is nothing but a ruse. Time and time again, the Palestinians have refused to recognize the JEWISH State of Israel. And without that recognition, none of the other issues will be resolved. Jeff Dunetz, a conservative pundit, is a weekly Jewish Star columnist. You can follow Dunetz throughout the week at YidWithLid.

No Palestinian leader has ever recognized the right of Israel to exist as the Jewish Homeland. The charter of Abbasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; FATAH party does not recognize Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right to exist in any form.

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Letters from rabbi to president: Babel to the White House A unique relationship has existed for some time between President Bill Clinton and Rabbi Menachem Genack. The relationship, literary in nature, resulted recently in the publication of an interesting work of 100 essays that were sent by the rabbi to Clinton, many written by the rabbi, and an almost equal number written by many prominent contemporary thinkers reďŹ&#x201A;ecting KOSHER upon the issues of the BOOKWORM day, both spiritual and civic. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Letters to President Clinton: Biblical Lessons on Faith and Leadership,â&#x20AC;? published by the OU Press, reďŹ&#x201A;ects upon Rabbi Genackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s desire to acquaint Clinton with a vast array of moral issues. At times, it succeeds in eliciting a response that both Alan Jay Gerber demonstrates Clintonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personal concern and his knowledge and appreciation of biblical literature. Given last weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Torah reading of the saga of the Tower of Babel, I chose to share with you an essay authored by Rabbi Genack and sent to Clinton in 1999 wherein he shares with the then president his take on this rather bizarre chapter of world history. Consider the following observation: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We may speculate that the post-Flood generation, seeing the disaster that an anarchistic society had brought, moved in the opposite direction. It created an Orwellian, homogenous, centrally controlled society,

substituting the centripetal force of totalitarianism for the centrifugal force of anarchy. The individual was of little value; only the faceless mass was signiďŹ cant.â&#x20AC;? This observation was not replied to by Clinton, and this left me pondering as to what his unstated reaction was to this most political of observations on a biblically recorded event. This brief yet perceptive essay by the rabbi ďŹ nds its sentiments and impressions reďŹ&#x201A;ected in other writings that I wish to share with you. Each has an anti-totalitarian political theme that I am certain is not taught in our schools, as yet. In 1999, Bar Ilan University published an essay by Prof. Israel Laulicht entitled, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The G e n eration of the Tower of Babel â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A New Era in World Management.â&#x20AC;? In this essay, the professor cites the following from the Netzivâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impression of this biblical saga: â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Haâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;amek Davar, the Netziv said that the generation of the Tower of Babel wished to establish a dictatorial regime to keep a close guard on the people and their actions, i.e, the tower was supposed to be a sort of control tower. Thus, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;making ourselves a nameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; meant surveilling and controlling everything.â&#x20AC;? Further on in this same essay we ďŹ nd the Sforno cited on this very same matter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you see human beings setting about


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to realize a certain idea which is founded on a lie, using coercion and pressure to concentrate their power, i.e., using totalitarian means, you should know that in such cases there is no longer any room for righting the wrong. But as long as there are differences of opinion in the world. â&#x20AC;ŚThere is hope that one day the one and only truth will emerge victorious.â&#x20AC;? Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, in a recent essay, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Individual and Collective Responsibilityâ&#x20AC;? teaches us the following: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Flood tells us what happens to civilization when individuals rule and there is no collective. Babel tells us what happens when the collective rules and individuals are sacriďŹ ced to it.â&#x20AC;? Further on Rabbi Sacks extends this teaching of contrast with a further example of contrast: â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is even a hint of this in the parallelism of language between the builders of Babel and the Egyptian Pharaoh who enslaved the Israelites. In Babel they said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Come (hava) let us build ourselves a city and a tower â&#x20AC;Ś lest (pen) we be scattered over the face of the earth.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; In Egypt Pharaoh said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Come (hava) let us deal wisely with them, lest (pen) they increase so much. â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; The repeated, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Come let us â&#x20AC;Ś lestâ&#x20AC;? is too pronounced to be accidental. Babel, like Egypt, represents an empire that subjugates entire populations, riding roughshod over identities and freedoms.â&#x20AC;? Rabbi Michael Hattin in his essay, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Tower of Babelâ&#x20AC;? [Yeshivat Har Etzion], also

makes sharp note of the totalitarian streak that permeates this whole sad episode. It is from this observation that he comes to teach us the following: â&#x20AC;&#x153;In our own lifetime, we have started to see the effects of globalization and for the ďŹ rst time in human history, physical distances can now be bridged by technology and cultural isolation overcome by communications. At the same time, humanity is slowly coming to the awareness that our world is but a small blue sphere suspended by a tenuous thread against black immensity of interstellar space. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The liberating forces of globalization have thus paradoxically created the possibility of self-destruction. If nations do not soon learn to cooperate on matters of global importance, a list that grows longer every day with the constant perceived shrinkage of space and time, then we are doomed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yet, at the Tower of Babel we learned that what is needed is not the erasing of borders and the adoption of a pervasive universal culture, but rather a respect and love for contrasts, and the recognition that humanity and its service of G-d can only be enriched by diversity.â&#x20AC;? Rabbi Genackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s valuable observations concerning the totalitarian legacy as evinced by those who ruled over the tower, which he shared with an American president, will someday, hopefully, resonate, in response, in written form by Clinton, and be shared with others as well as to be reďŹ&#x201A;ected upon by many others likewise, world wide. Thus, will the teachings of all those cited, as well as that of Rabbi Menachem Genack, come to fruition, as the legitimate lesson to be learnt by all, from the sad episode of the Tower of Babel.

Dershowitz, in a new memoir, continues ďŹ ght for underdogs

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By Matt Robinson, Claus von BĂźlow, Mike Tyson, O.J. Simpson. From the indigent to the infamous, some of Alan Dershowitzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clients may have been unpopular, but the noted attorney has always seen value in taking up their cases, even when he felt he might lose. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think of it the way Abraham thought of it when he had to defend the sinners of Sodom. And he had a more powerful adversary,â&#x20AC;? Dershowitz says in an interview with, referring to the Jewish forefatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plea with G-d to spare the (ultimately destroyed) biblical city known for its corruption on behalf of any righteous people who may have been living there. But no matter whom he has defended or faced over the course of a ďŹ ve-decade legal career, the 75-year-old Dershowitz says his most profound critics come from a different forum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the classroom. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am teacher ďŹ rst,â&#x20AC;? says the Harvard Law School professor, whose latest teachings are contained in his 30th book, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law,â&#x20AC;? to be released Oct. 15. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I teach in my classes. I teach when I am on television. I teach when I write my books. I even try to teach when I am arguing my cases. It is my dominant role. It is what I have been doing for 50 years and everything else emanated from my role as teacher.â&#x20AC;? Asked why he chose to write a memoir now, Dershowitz says he has reached a â&#x20AC;&#x153;mile-

stoneâ&#x20AC;? in his life. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I worked very hard in this book to try to put together the story of my life in a way that is readable and exciting,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have been very fortunate to live in an exciting time in the law and I have been able to be a part of it.â&#x20AC;? The book is not only a memoir, but also â&#x20AC;&#x153;a biography of the lawâ&#x20AC;? over the last 50 years, Dershowitz explains. It encompasses the evolution of the attorneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thinking on issues such as censorship, the First Amendment, civil rights, abortion, homicide, and the increasing role that science plays in a legal defense. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Taking the Standâ&#x20AC;? also covers Dershowitzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s academic struggles in high school. Recalling how he â&#x20AC;&#x153;always had a big mouth,â&#x20AC;? Dershowitz tells that his rabbi at New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Yeshiva University High School, Avraham Zuroff, is the one who set him on his lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s path. Dershowitz quickly took the ďŹ eld by storm, attending Yale University for undergraduate studies, serving as a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, and becoming the youngest full professor in the history of Harvard Law School by age 28. His advice for defenders of Israel is to be unrelenting, falling in line with the reputation he developed in the courtroom. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Never give up,â&#x20AC;? Dershowitz says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Always ďŹ ght back. Never settle for an injustice and never accept injustice as the ďŹ nal answer. Always demand justice and be willing to ďŹ ght for it.â&#x20AC;?

Lawrence school board eyes more changes Neck to two smaller buses instead of one large bus, saying that the change will significantly reduce the time they spend on a bus. A decision has yet to be made on that request. The board will also review a policy that prohibits the district from using transportation funded by taxpayer dollars to bring children home from after-school programs to ease travel problems. Changes to either policy would be subject to public comment and require two readings before the board could vote on them. “Where do we go from here?” Greenfield asked the board. “We will review the policies for all the children,” said board President David Sussman. “We will do what is best for every child in the district.” Since the first week of school, several parents of yeshiva students have noted problems with transportation. Routes were longer, drivers didn’t know them, and communication among the district, parents and Inwoodbased Independent Coach was spotty. District officials sought to remedy the difficulties by adding buses, moving students from one bus to another to streamline routes and revising pickup and drop-off times. But the challenges the district faces, Schall explained, include more than just logistics. “There is a shortage of drivers and a high rate of absenteeism, and we are not alone in that problem,” he said, adding that the district and Independent Coach are “actively recruiting drivers” and working on a better way “to communicate to parents when these problems occur.”

Jeffrey Bessen for the Nassau Heraldx

Longer-than-expected bus routes and other transportation problems have vexed Inwood-based Independent Coach, the Lawrence School District and yeshiva parents. Yeshiva parents once again asked the district to look into “reverse busing” — in which the first children on the bus in the morning would be the first dropped off on the way home — to reduce the amount of time students spend on buses.

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“You are detracting from their ability to get the job done when it comes to school,” Lawrence resident Joseph Grob said of hourand-half bus rides to and from school. A version of this article first appeared in the Nassau Herald.


Lenny Koegel 516-594-6010

By Jeffrey Bessen The Lawrence schools superintendent said Monday that most of the busing problems that plagued yeshiva students during the opening days of school had been rectified, and that the Board of Education would review two busing policies with an eye toward further improvements. Superintendent Gary Schall told Monday’s board meeting That over 90 routes were examined that revisions were made “as needed.” Yet problems remain, Schall acknowledged, in the Lawrence district’s complex bus system, which transports 7,500 students on 450 routes to more than 75 schools on Long Island, including Brooklyn and Queens. According to district policy, bus routes within it should no longer than approximately 45 minutes. Some out-of-district private-school routes, however, can take as long as 90 minutes, which parents have complained is too long. Last school year the routes were no longer than an hour. “This has already adversely affected our children’s lives, from psychological well-being to health, as they have nausea and headaches every day,” said Lawrence resident Barry Greenfield, whose daughter attends North Shore Hebrew Academy High School. “These problems present an obstacle to true learning both inside the classroom and outside, when they get home to do homework and study for tests.” Greenfield, speaking on behalf of several yeshiva parents, asked that the district assign children attending three schools in Great

THE JEWISH STAR October 11, 2013 • 7 CHESHVAN 5774

Bus service improves for 5 Towns yeshiva students


October 11, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 7 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR


Jewish Star Schools â&#x20AC;˘Schools are invited to submit news items and photos for FREE publication in The Jewish Star â&#x20AC;˘Copy is subject to editing for style and space and will appear at the discretion of the editor. â&#x20AC;˘Include a phone number the Star can call for veriďŹ cation or more information. â&#x20AC;˘Photos should be sent with captions that include as many names as possible. Email all school material to or mail to Schools, The Jewish Star, 2 Endo Blvd., Garden City, NY 11530.

HAFTR opens with a Big Read of Leon Urisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; novel, â&#x20AC;&#x2122;Exodusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; By Lauren Pianko HAFTR HS student It has been an exciting start to the new school year. For the ďŹ rst time, the high school of HAFTR (the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway) had a Big Read program, with freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors â&#x20AC;&#x201D; along with many faculty members â&#x20AC;&#x201D; all reading the novel â&#x20AC;&#x153;Exodusâ&#x20AC;? by Leon Uris. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Exodusâ&#x20AC;? is about the founding of State of Israel, and the title is based on the Exodus


ship that took Jewish immigrants to Palestine. With everyone reading the same novel, each student was able to connect with the lessons, morals and concepts that Uris wanted to portray to his readers. Last week, the entire school was brought together for an â&#x20AC;&#x153;Exodusâ&#x20AC;? assembly. The keynote speaker was Rabbi Kenneth Hain, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom of Lawrence. His main message was that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Exodusâ&#x20AC;? taught American Jews that no one should be afraid to be who they are, and it also made non-Jews realize that Jews were entitled to their own country. Afterwards, the assembly was shown actual movie footage of Jews trekking across Europe in the hope that they would board an illegal ship which could take them to Palestine. Tuvia Book, Zionism instructor, explained some of the clips, from the documentary â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Long Way Home,â&#x20AC;? to put the events in their historical context. The assembly ended when English Chairman Dr. Rena Bonne introduced a video created by students about all the different things you could learn about the novel. The video was a parody of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;old Jewâ&#x20AC;? of Europe versus the â&#x20AC;&#x153;new Jew,â&#x20AC;? in a dramatization of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Exodusâ&#x20AC;? protagonist Ari Ben Canaan. HAFTR senior Sarah Fuchs said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Exodus changed my perspective on the plight of the Jews in Palestine, ďŹ ghting for their country. I learned so much from them, which I can now apply to my own life.â&#x20AC;?



At Shalhevet in North Woodmere, a record turnout for open house From Shalhevet HS Shalhevet High Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual Open House last Sunday drew its largest turnout ever, with girls from 17 different schools coming to see how amazing Shalhevet really is. The event began with tenth grader Avital Weinberg welcoming everyone and sharing her love for the North Woodmere school. Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Friedman discussed Shalhevetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a small school by design that does not ďŹ t any speciďŹ c mold, warm, nurturing, and inspiring individual growth. The school encourages girls to pursue any profession they choose while adhering to a Torah framework. After just a few days at Shalhevet, ninth grader Avigail Borah described an easy transition facilitated by the girls and teachers. Students Meira Nussbaum (tenth grade) and Devora Chait (eleventh grade) raved about all of the incredible extra-curricular activities that Shalhevet offers, from sports, to mock trial, to the play and more. Assistant Principal Shaindy Lisker spoke about the true Shalhevet girl â&#x20AC;&#x201D; exemplifying midot, chesed, and ahavat Yisroel. College Guidance Director Ira Schildkraut explained to the importance of having an early start on college planning and the PSAT, SAT and application process.

Students Daniella Azose (eleventh grade) and Malka Marmer (twelfth grade) conveyed the outstanding AP and elective courses that are offered, and mentioned how the ofďŹ ce of the principal, Esther Eisenman, is always open. Mrs. Eisenman then wrapped up the speeches by sharing how remarkable all of the girls in Shalhevet are, from their impressive SAT and AP scores, to the top notch schools that they are accepted to afterwards, and their true love for all of Am Yisroel. Teachers were highlighted as the backbone of the school, challenging each student at their individual level. Following the speeches, the parents and students all participated in a number of mini class lessons led by chumash teacher Morah Schulman, math teacher Mr. Kelly, Zionism teacher Rabbi Eliach, Torah shebâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;al peh teacher Rabbi Schneeweiss, and science teacher Mr. Rada. All of the parents and students were then invited to the ballroom where they enjoyed soups and salads from Qcumbers and each girl received her very own Shalhevet Sweatshirt and teachers and students were present to answer questions and share more about what a wonderful school Shalhevet is. Shalhevet looks forward to welcoming the class of 2018!

Rav Yosef recalled at Rambam Mesivta in Lawrence From Rambam Mesivta Upon hearing of the passing of Rav OvadIa Yosef, the talmidim of Rambam Mesivta were assembled to learn more about this Torah giant, leader, and the impact he had on Klal Yisrael. His loss will be felt for generations to come. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The mere fact that 800,000 people attended the levaya in Israel on short notice â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the equivalent of over 50 million people travelling to Washington for a funeral in America ² is an indication of the role he played as

a Manhig Yisrael (towering Jewish leader),´ said Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman, Rambamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rosh HaMesivta. Rabbi Friedman spoke about Rav Yosefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unchallenged role as an authority in psak halacha and his ability to unite all of Sephardic Jewry under the banner of Torah. Rabbi Daniel Bennun, who leads the daily Sephardic minyan at Rambam, spoke to the entire Rambam Mesivta about some personal anecdotes and recollections he had of Rav Yosef ztâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;l. â&#x20AC;&#x153;His photographic memory was

unparalleled´ said Rabbi Bennun, â&#x20AC;&#x153;as was his commitment to help all of those in need.â&#x20AC;? Rabbi Bennun explained how Rav Yosef tackled such difďŹ cult community problems as Agunot (wives whose husbands never returned from Yom Kippur War battles); Shmitta for farmers in Eretz Yisrael; the status of Ethiopian Jewry, and many other issues which required encyclopedic knowledge of Torah and â&#x20AC;&#x153;broad shouldersâ&#x20AC;? in halacha. Rav Ovadia Yosefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s petirah truly was a loss for world Jewry.


THE JEWISH STAR October 11, 2013 • 7 CHESHVAN 5774


Better late than never! Turning late summer prunes into a plum tart Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s late, 2:30 am. This article is going to get to the editor late, and my Braves lost their lead and their do-or-die playoff game late in the game. I hate being late, but when Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m late, I hustle. When I worked in the city, I became so adept at making the train, no matter how late I was, that I was able to leave my house, drive a mile, ďŹ nd a parking spot (no easy fete!), run toward the train and across the tracks while the train was already there. All in four minutes. Of course I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t catch my breath for half the train ride and I had to listen to the conductor admonish me not to run across the tracks while the gates were WHOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S IN THE down (yes, I know he KITCHEN was right). My husband Jerry, on the other hand, tends to be tardy most of the time, maybe all of the time. He does it in the calmest manner and actually thinks heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be on time. Last week, I was going to meet him in the city at NYU hospital to visit his mom and then Judy Joszef drive home together. I told him I was on the way and he said he would meet me in front of the hospital at 9:10 pm and park the car for me. I got there on time and pulled into a no standing zone in front of the hospital (yes, I know it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t right, but I ďŹ gured it would just be a minute or two till Jerry got there). When I spoke to him 45 minutes before, he said he was leaving the gym, which is a 20 minute walk from

NYU, so he should have been there, but he wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. 9:10 turned into 9:20. I called his cell, then called again and again. Every time I heard a siren I thought it was the police there to ticket me and tow me away. Of course it was an ambulance, because I was about ten feet from the emergency room entrance. Now, it was 10:35. I was nervous. Did something happen to him? Did he get mugged? Did he have to hand over his Nietzsche books and his highlighters? I decided to call his ofďŹ ce, in a last ditch effort to ďŹ nd him and â&#x20AC;&#x201D; low and behold! â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he answered the phone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Are you kidding me!?!â&#x20AC;? I screamed into the phone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What are you doing in your ofďŹ ce? An hour ago said you were leaving the gym and heading to the hospital! How is it possible that you ended up in your ofďŹ ce and you are still there? And for heavenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sake why are you not answering your cell?â&#x20AC;? He calmly said he was charging his phone (he thinks he has to keep it off when he does that â&#x20AC;Ś sigh). He explained that he ran back to his ofďŹ ce on the way to the hospital to pick something up and lost track of time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You lost track of time? You were on your way to meet me, you stop at your ofďŹ ce to pick something up, why would you sit down, charge your phone, do some work and lose track of time, on your way to meet me?â&#x20AC;? And then, he actually thought he would still have time to walk from Broadway and 38th to 32nd and First. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lose track of time? I think you lost your mind!â&#x20AC;? I screamed. Knowing him only to well, I pictured him leaving the ofďŹ ce and leisurely walking to the hospital like Don Quixote on his donkey. Kind of like he does when he gets off the rail-

â&#x20AC;˘ 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice â&#x20AC;˘ 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom


road and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s raining, hailing or snowing and he saunters down the steps and strolls to his car while everyone else is holding newspapers over their heads and making a mad dash to safety. I told him in no uncertain terms he should hail a cab â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as if his life depended on it (which, it did!). Talking about being late, here is a great plum tart recipe to make with late summer plum prunes, which are still abundant and in stores throughout October.

Ingredients For pastry dough â&#x20AC;˘ 2 lbs small Italian (prune) plums halved and pitted â&#x20AC;˘ 1 1/4 sticks (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces â&#x20AC;˘ 1/4 cup sugar â&#x20AC;˘ 1/2 teaspoon salt â&#x20AC;˘ 1/2 teaspoon ďŹ nely grated fresh lemon zest â&#x20AC;˘ 2 large egg yolks For ďŹ lling â&#x20AC;˘ 1 1/2 cups sugar â&#x20AC;˘ 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch â&#x20AC;˘ 2 lb small prune plums, halved and pitted

Pie Dough Crust Combine ďŹ&#x201A;our, butter, sugar, salt, and zest in a food processor and pulse until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with remainder in small (roughly pea-size) lumps. Add yolks and process just until incorporated and mixture begins to clump. Turn mixture onto a ďŹ&#x201A;at surface and divide into 2 portions. Press each portion once with heel of your hand from one end to another to make sure the fat is distributed. Combine the two pieces of dough together to form a ball. Pat out the ball of dough with ďŹ&#x201A;oured ďŹ ngers into a tart pan, in an even 1/4-inch layer on bottom and up sides (about 1/8 inch above rim). Chill 30 minutes, or until ďŹ rm. Mold onto bottom and up sides of tart pan. Filling Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add plums and lemon juice and toss to coat. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange plum halves, skin sides down, in tart shells, overlapping in a rosette pattern. Cut any extra plums lengthwise and stick them in between plum halves in tart. Pour plum juice over the plums. Bake tart in middle of oven 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375°F. Cover tart loosely with foil and bake until plums are soft and juice is bubbling and slightly thickened, about 45 minutes more. If pie crust starts to brown too quickly cover just the crust with aluminum foil. Juice will continue to thicken as tarts cools. Cool before serving.

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11 THE JEWISH STAR October 11, 2013 • 7 CHESHVAN 5774

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CELEBRATING IDF soldiers at golf outing Many Five Towns residents participated in a golf outing that raised more than $270,000 for Friends of the Israel Defense Forces NY Real Estate Division, at the Glen Oaks Country Club in Old Westbury last month. Above, from left, Lt. Danielle Dori and Cpl. Sharon Malka at the post-golf dinner.

By Jeffrey Bessen They range in age from 6 to 60 and their skill level varies from beginner to talented amateur; nearly 50 hockey players hit the ice at Long Beach Arena from October until summer as part of the Hebrew Hockey League. Formed in 2010 by Cedarhurst businessman Michael Edery, 46, a native of Montreal but now a diehard Islander fan, and Long Beach resident Hank Levin, 28, who played at the high school, college and professional levels, the HHL provides an opportunity for Jewish kids and adults (the league welcomes all) to play a sport not typically associated with the culture. “With Sabbath observances the kids can’t play on Saturday, so we have our league on Friday afternoon,” said Edery, who loves to be on the ice with his two boys, Avi, 15, and Yoni, 10. Now in its fourth season — face-off is on Oct. 4 — the league which began with seven players is gaining its ice legs and not only includes a clinic portion, where players learn new skills, organized scrimmages based on age and talent level, but will add another 30 minutes to its ice time for skating practice. The two-hour session is from 1:40 to 3:40 p.m. The HHL is also seeking a slot at the new ice rink being built at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. The fee is $20 per session, and $10 for the extra half hour. “The real point of emphasis of the program is proper technique,” said Levin, a hockey player since he was a tyke, who played at Western New England College (now Western New England University) and for the Finland Varkaus Eagles and the Flint (Mich.) Generals as part of the Detroit Red Wings system in the International Hockey League, a U.S.based minor league. Coaching and teaching the players is the league’s strength. In addition to Edery, who learned his hockey on the “pond” in Canada and Levin’s experience, all the coaches involved have played hockey at a competitive

level, including coaches Mordechai Moseson, John Osesi-Tutu and Jesse Lehman. Guest coaches have included Long Beach natives Joe Diamond, who played at the University of Maine and is currently under contract to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, an Islander affiliate, and Kevin Goumas, a forward at the University of New Hampshire, and retired pro player Will Bodine, a North Massapequa native. “Through the clinic and the drills there is position play, skating, stick handling and they put it together for game situations,” said Edery, adding that the league doesn’t advertise and builds on word-of-mouth referrals. Learning about the HHL through a previous story, Cedarhurst resident Ezra Cynamon, 15, a student at Rambam Mesivta in Lawrence, joined the league in its first year. “It’s a great sport to play, the guys who play and the coaches are great; it is a lot of fun,” said Cynamon, a Rangers fan, who plays both offense and defense but not goalie. “Also there are a lot of good people to hang out with, and I get to play hockey.” Learning and playing hockey — the games become a seven-game series at the end of the season where teams compete for the Hebrew Hockey Cup, Edery calls it a “Kiddush cup on steroids” — is part of the experience. Respect of teammates and opponents alike is emphasized and teamed with having fun. “We don’t tolerate trash talk and disrespect,” Levin said. “We play hard but we walk out friends.” When Alec Rapp, 12, of Lawrence, learned there was a hockey league that played on Fridays he joined. “We have a clinic to improve our skills and a competitive game after,” he said, explaining why he enjoys it. Rapp, also a Rangers fan, mostly plays offense and embraces one of the HHL’s tenets. “We all learn sportsmanship,” he said. For information about the league, email Edery at A version of this story first appeared in the Nassau Herald.


Dropping puck on new Hebrew Hockey season

Campus director ignites Jewish students on Israel By Jacob Kamaras, In a story of “what goes around, comes around” in the pro-Israel world, Jacob Baime will seek to empower Jewish students through a group that empowered him. Baime credits a $2,500 grant from the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) — enabling him to charter a bus of fellow Brandeis University students to Washington, DC, to lobby some 25 members of Congress from 12 states — with helping to launch his pro-Israel career. After working in multiple capacities for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the 28-year-old Baime was recently named the ICC’s new executive director. “One of our roles is to be catalytic and not proprietary,” Baime says of the ICC, which was founded in 2002 as a partnership between Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and the Charles and Lynn Schus-

terman Family Foundation, and is now an independent organization that works closely with Hillel as well as the national spectrum of pro-Israel campus groups. “In other words, we identify specific challenges and opportunities and match both our own resources, and the resources of our partner organizations, to those challenges and opportunities.” Asked what pro-Israel students need the most from Jewish organizations, Baime tells, “In one word, they need to be empowered, in any number of ways.” Students need the tools to address the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement “before, during, and after a BDS campaign comes to campus,” he says. “We’ve got to prevent anti-Israel forces from making inroads with campus leaders,” Baime says. “We’ve got to deny Israel’s detractors the opportunity to set the parame-




ters of the campus conversation about Israel, and at the same time, we’ve got to fortify the confidence of the pro-Israel members of the campus community. Because in my view, the greatest threat of BDS is the erosion of confidence of the pro-Israel students and others on campus.” While Israel’s detractors “are constantly seeking to drive a wedge between the college campus and the state of Israel,” the ICC’s response is to “forge new ties between key constituencies on those campuses and their Israeli counterparts,” Baime says. For example, the ICC works closely with the Israel investment group Tamid. “Tamid is doing incredible work to expose business students and people who are interested in entrepreneurship with their Israeli counterparts, and to bring the whole idea of ‘startup nation’ to the campus,” Baime says. “I think there are a number of areas where we can do similar work, and I think we can see Tamid as a shining example and a model of what works in terms of forging those new ties.” The ICC’s strategy also includes what Baime calls a “whole campus approach” to pro-Israel advocacy, through the engagement of not just undergraduates, but also graduate students, professors, administrators, alumni, and boards of directors. “It’s woefully insufficient to ask the undergraduates—the constituency that’s on campus for the least amount of time—to make the campus safe for themselves,” he says. While Baime’s undergraduate years were spent on the heavily Jewish campus of Brandeis, where Jewish students would presumably feel safe, he says that situation presented unique challenges.

“Students [at campuses like Brandeis with large Jewish populations] feel they’re in an inherently pro-Israel environment, and they aren’t necessarily motivated to get involved,” Baime says. Another challenge on campus was “overextension,” he says, explaining that students can be involved in so many different activities that they are unable “to really commit to Israel activism.” As the national field director of AIPAC, Baime supervised a national team of professional campus organizers, oversaw strategic campus initiatives, and managed 10 national training platforms for college and high school students. Most recently, he served as area director for AIPAC’s New England Region. “AIPAC’s campus program is one of its crown jewels, and the training I received from AIPAC gave me a really firm grasp on how the campus works, [and on] the various players,” Baime says. “I think that as a result of my work with AIPAC on campus, I understand how to identify, develop, and mobilize campus resources in support of Israel.” At the ICC, Baime will oversee the group’s close partnership with Hillel, the North American network of campus centers. He calls Hillel “a key player in the Israel campus network, if not the key player.” The ICC has the policy of supporting the democratically elected government of Israel, and only partners with organizations who share that policy, Baime says. He also believes in the “big tent” approach. Baime says Hillel is “doing incredible and vital work at campuses all across the country to support Israel, and to help every student build that personal relationship with Israel, and I think that’s the key.”

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ven as the New York Times reported on a new survey showing once again that American Jews are disassociating from Judaism at a rapid pace, the Broadway musical “Soul Doctor” (which closes its run this Sunday) was celebrating the life of a man who knew how to reach the unaffiliated and help them find their way back. The performances end with audiences of about 900 people gleefully singing “Am Yisrael Chai” (the nation of Israel lives). The Times article was based on Pew Research Center’s “A Portrait of Jewish Americans,” a survey that sought to understand IN MY VIEW everything of consequence about American Jewish life, from birthrate trends, to core beliefs, to religious affiliations, to cultural identity. The results were alarming, but by no means surprising. The portrait’s principal finding — that there is a large number of Jews who are growJuda Engelmayer ing up in America more assimilated and less affiliated, with many professing no belief at all — merely confirms trends we have been seeing for over three decades. There are few exceptions to the trend, and every stream of Judaism appears to share its impact. The trend itself, first identified in the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey, was never a surprise, but the extent of it did catch the Jewish communal leadership unawares. When Jewish communities either turn their backs on religion or tradition, or impose ever more burdensome restrictions that are too difficult to comply with, the generations grow more distant from Judaism and get caught up instead in an increasingly more open and broadly acceptable secular society. The youngest members often have no connection, no appreciation, or reject what is being told to them. They all see little reason to connect to a religion that seems more like a relic of a past age, or a weight they no longer need to carry.

A similar trend can be seen in Israel. Those who fled from foreign lands, fought to see Israel born, and then fought to preserve it are part of what is known as the Frontier Zionists. The children born today have few to no memories of bloody existential threats, and no connection to the historic debates that built the land and made it safe for Jews; they no longer feel the will to fight to preserve the country, taking what they have for granted. In the Sholem Aleichem-inspired musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tevye the Dairyman said upon learning of an expected pogrom about to befall his small village of Anatevka, “I know, I know we are the chosen people. But once in a while, can’t you choose someone else?” My generation and older ones laughed at that with the bittersweet pain of knowing that it was funny because it was true; Jewish youth in today’s America have no clue what that even means. In a way, Jewish success in America and in Israel has hurt the Jewish people in a way that only time will be able to truly articulate. Youth today just want to be kids, they don’t see themselves as having been born to a cause. As scholars have noted in the past, there was a downside to the Enlightenment for Jews. While it opened doors to let Jews enter a formerly closed secular world, it also allowed Jews to free themselves from the grip of communal practices and traditions. The response of the traditionalists — “innovation is forbidden by the Torah,” in the words of the Chasam Sofer (chadash asur min ha-Torah) — served only to reaffirm to those seeking a more liberal environment that tradition was antithetical to modernity. By the time Samson Raphael Hirsch proposed his more inclusive neo-Orthodoxy, it was too late to stem the outgoing tide. Numbers do not lie, and Pew’s statistics show that the Jewish community in America

will look a lot different, and arguably be a lot weaker, very soon. The study showed that Jews of all walks are mostly proud to be Jewish, but it’s a pride that does not necessarily translate into the practice of the ritual and religious aspects of Judaism, and it does nothing to stem the rising rate of intermarriage. While the study shows that some of the strongest growth sectors of Judaism are within the Reform movement, which appears to be understanding a lot quicker than others that the attrition rates need to be reversed, assimilation appears to be growing most rapidly among the non-Orthodox. As for the Orthodox, the Pew survey shows that the charedi segment is the fastestgrowing and far outdistances the modern Orthodox in numbers. Perhaps Orthodoxy will one day be the only game in town, and Orthodox Jews, in response to what they may feel is the obvious negative effects of Enlightenment, may close ranks and again adopt the Chasam Sofer’s “chadash asur” mantra by rejecting modernity completely, returning to the days when they lived insular lives, had little secularized outside interaction and lacked the influence to keep themselves secure from predators and prejudices. If history has shown us anything, the Jews will always have enemies and being meek is a certain path to oppression. This, perhaps, is a somewhat melodramatic but nevertheless plausible scenario down the line if the extremists on the left and right have their way, and if our communal leaders do not find ways to keep the attraction of Judaism alive. This is why “Soul Doctor,” in Broadway’s Circle in the Square, is so important. Without much fanfare, the story presents itself as the Journey of a rock-star rabbi. It is actually more than that. The play, written by Danny Wise, is about a man long deceased who continues

to inspire so many people back to the faith, who bridged worlds others thought to be unbridgeable, and who nevertheless remained true to his faith. That man was Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. The tale takes him from war-torn Europe under Nazi control to New York City, where his parents and his religious teacher, his rebbe, try to imbue in him the need to carry on the faith as a traditional old school rabbi, and pass on the beliefs to rebuild the Jewish people after the Shoah. Shlomo, however, had a special gift. He was not only musical, but loved what music could do for an ailing soul. He went on a spiritual journey to hone his gift by attaching modern sounds and secular, more widely appreciated genres to the songs and prayers of his upbringing and people. He was challenged, cast out, and chased away because he was using Jazz — learned from New York City nightclubs and the songstress legend Nina Simone — to bring new energy and inspiration back to Jewish prayer. His ties to the secular world posed a threat to the community he grew up in, and the story demonstrates his struggle to maintain both worlds successfully and even bridge them. Those who know of Shlomo, and we who continue to sing his songs and buy his recordings, know what he accomplished. His music continues to touch millions. He was a true pioneer of his day, using the interesting allure of the modern to ignite flames in the souls of those who otherwise might have been lost. Even as he was being shunned in religious communities, his work crept in and took root. There are Orthodox and Conservative “Carlebach minyans” and synagogues all over the world today. He accomplished so much and, sadly, died too soon to realize just how far his inspiration traveled. Maybe “Soul Doctor” will help. The Pew study shows that Jews are becoming ever less interested, but Shlomo Carlebach’s story has audiences — filled mostly with gentiles and unaffiliated Jews singing “Am Yisrael Chai,” eight times a week. We have our work cut out for us, but Shlomo continues to show us the way. Juda Engelmayeris an executive at the New York PR firm5W Public Relations.

For Jewish Iraqi archive, road to exhibition and return By Michele Alperin, A tip in May 2003 about a 7th-century Talmud volume in the basement of the Iraqi intelligence ministry (Mukhabarat) led a team from the Coalition Provisional Authority, Iraq’s transitional government, to a trove of materials from the Iraqi Jewish community that were floating in four feet of water. A decade later, what became known as the Iraqi Jewish Archive is set to return to its country of origin—along a road paved with questions about its rightful owner. Before returning to Iraq’s government, the archive will be featured in the “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage” display, opening Oct. 11 at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC and running until Jan. 5, 2014. The exhibition features 24 of the preserved items, including a Hebrew Bible with Commentaries from 1568, a Babylonian Talmud from 1793, a Torah scroll fragment from Genesis, and a 1902 Haggadah hand lettered and decorated by an Iraqi Jewish youth.

According to an agreement signed with Iraqi authorities in August 2003 to allow the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to take temporary physical custody of the Iraqi Jewish Archive for the purpose of preservation, conservation, restoration, and exhibition of the material, the collection will be returned to the Iraqi government when the project is completed. But Stanley Urman, executive vice president of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC), views that agreement as problematic. “Our concern is that within the agreement is a clause that requires that these archives be returned to Iraq,” Urman told “We believe the agreement is based on a flawed premise, that premise being that the archives are the property of the Iraqi government. Our question is—how did they get into the basement of the Mukhabarat?” Answering his own question, Urman said, “They were seized from Jewish institutions, schools, and the community.” He says JJAC believes Iraqi Jews, who had no say in the agree-

ment to return the archives to Iraq, must “be involved in any decision pertaining to ultimate disposition of their own cultural heritage.” What remains a mystery, however, is why the Iraqi government wants the archives returned. Urman said, first, with the chaos in Iraq, the country has more important issues to deal with than the archives. Second, Iraq does not have a good track record on preserving important Jewish sites like the tomb of Ezekiel, which is now being used as a mosque. Maurice Shohet—president of the World Organization of Jews from Iraq (WOJI)—said his organization’s priority was the preservation, conservation, and digitization of the material. “It is important for us and researchers worldwide to have access,” he said. But for Iraqi Jews like Joseph Dabby—who escaped from Iraq with his wife in 1971 and is now chairman of the board of Kahal Joseph Congregation in Los Angeles, a synagogue that follows the Iraqi prayer rite—the idea of returning the archive to Iraq, a country that

in recent memory has discriminated against Jews and even murdered them, is abhorrent. Today the Jewish population in Iraq is only five people, a sad remnant of a Jewish community that created the Babylonian Talmud. Like Urman, Dabby expressed disbelief at the idea that Iraq wants the archive back out of any interest in keeping the Iraqi Jewish heritage alive. “My personal appeal to the Iraqi government is to find a way to keep the archive available for the Jewish community from Iraq,” he added. “They took this from their synagogues; they should give it to them, wherever they are.” “At this point, that small thing, the archives, was a trigger point for all the emotions kept inside for 40 or 60 years and have now poured out,” he said. Those emotions are particularly strong for Dabby, who saw his family and friends tortured and executed in Iraq, and said he was imprisoned there three times himself “for being Jewish.”

THE JEWISH STAR October 11, 2013 • 7 CHESHVAN 5774

Pew study reports Jewish community is shrinking, but ‘Soul Doctor’ on Broadway suggests it still lives


October 11, 2013 • 7 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR


Lech Lecha / When arguing, silence may or may not be golden


he King of Egypt discovers that the woman he brought into his chambers is married to Avraham. “What have you done to me?” he demands of Avraham. “Why didn’t you tell me she is your wife? Why did you say she is your sister, leading me to take her as a wife? Now— take your wife and go!” (12:18-20) Avraham’s response is silence. Either he is not given a chance to answer, or he recognized that responding, whether truthfulPARSHA OF ly or in anger, would THE WEEK go nowhere. Avraham knew that having the last word was not only unnecessary, but if it was the wrong word, it may come back to bite him. After all, he did come to Egypt looking for help. He should be grateful he is going free with merely a tongue-lashing. Rabbi Avi Billet The king of Sodom arrogantly tells Avraham, who has just saved him and his people at tremendous peril and self-sacrifice, that Avraham should give him the POWs as he gives Avraham permission to keep the booty that is rightfully Avraham’s. Avraham does have the last word as he tells the king that he does not intend to keep anything beyond what his men have already eaten. Some-

times you need to give the swift kick and end the conversation, especially when gratitude should have come in the other direction — from the King of Sodom towards Avraham. (14:17-24) In both cases, Avraham does not have nor does he intend to pursue a longer term relationship with these kings. Let us look, however, at the two arguments Avraham has with people for whom he does care deeply. When Avraham’s shepherds argue with Lot’s shepherds, Avraham is the one who intervenes, saying, “Let there not be an argument between me and you, and between my shepherds and your shepherds, for we are brothers.” He gives Lot a very generous offer — you pick where you want to be; whatever you choose, I will go the other way. (13:8-9) They part in peace and Avraham has achieved his objective. After Sarah gives her maid to Avraham, demonstrating tremendous self-sacrifice and concern for her husband so he could have a son, Hagar denigrates her mistress who has been suffering with infertility for years. “I am angry at you,” she says to Avraham, “because I gave you my maid, she has become pregnant, and I have become denigrated.” (16:3-5) It is ironic that Avraham is blamed for doing exactly what his wife told him to do. But note how he does not say, “Why are you yelling at me? I did what you told me! I’m going to be the father I always wanted to be. I’m going to have a child – something you could never provide for me!” He does

say, “Here is your maid. Do to her what is best in your eyes.” (16:6) Radak says Avraham did that for the sake of Shalom Bayis (to preserve peace in their home), so she can feel good about herself again one day. There is a need for a much longer conversation about Hagar’s treatment here. The commentaries are split over the choices made - Ramban is critical of both Sarah and Avraham on her treatment of Hagar, the Riva defends them both. Radak says we normally learn model behavior from the forefathers, here we learn how not to treat someone from the way Hagar is treated. The question I have is, do Avraham and Sarah respect one another in this exchange? It’s not like with the kings where you either ignore the person or tell him off. Even more than he cared for Lot Avraham cared for his wife. And as his demonstration of compromise played out with Lot, it played out even more so with his wife, with whom he intended to live for the rest of his life. And it is completely in character for Avraham. Remember how he resolved the dispute with Lot. You choose. You decide. I don’t need to have the last word. I don’t need to be the one with the choice land or property. I want YOU to be happy. I want YOU to find peace. It’s hard to judge Sarah. She is a woman who has suffered terribly — with infertility, her maid’s mistreating her, and her maid getting pregnant right away while Sarah remains barren. But Avraham certainly teaches us a few things about the “rules of engagement” in an argument.

Ben Zoma concludes a listing of a few important rhetorical questions by asking, “Who is honored? Who is honorable? One who gives honor to all of God’s creatures.” Certainly the first place to begin is with one’s loved ones. Treat them with respect. Preserve their dignity at all times. Don’t argue in front of other people. A person must not say, “You were wrong and I was right. You always do this. You don’t care about me. Nothing that matters to me matters to you. Your choices disgust me. I would never do the things you do, treat others the way you do, talk about myself the way you do, or think so highly of myself that I could never admit I might be wrong. But YOU. All the time – always the same. When will you ever learn?” A person needs to think in the following way. “I am going to express my needs. What I have done, my reasoning, why I did it. I will explain where I am coming from. I will explain my choices. I will emphasize my commitment and dedication to this relationship. I care about you. I care about us. Above all, I want there to be peace between us. I want to hear your side, I want to hear your perspective, and really want us to come to a resolution.” As long as communication is done respectfully, resolution is attainable with dignity, honor, respect, and love. After all, “Who is most honored?” Those who want the best for one another, and demonstrate it through treating one another with the utmost respect.

Finding a balance: ‘Live and let live,’ without accepting evil


ometimes, you can’t change the world, and to make sure the world doesn’t change you, difficult and often painful decisions are necessary. In the Israeli army, there are certain rules and codes you learn quickly, that most soldiers instinctively understand. No normal FROM THE HEART soldier steals weapons OF JERUSALEM and you don’t ever take personal belongings from anyone, especially from the guys in your own unit. Guys will rationalize taking things they deem to be the collective army’s (such as swiping an extra rain parka out of the huge pile in the supply depot) but usually draw Rabbi Binny the line at pilfering Freedman from a buddy’s gear. Which was why it was so distressing to discover that we apparently had a thief in the unit; things were disappearing, and some of the guys were getting upset. It was clear we had a problem, and if you can’t trust the guys in your unit everything else starts to fall apart. It took me a few weeks of detective work to catch the guy. It was a painful shock to discover who the thief was, especially as he was one of the guys who was always helpful. When he realized I was bringing him up on charges and demanding his removal from our battalion (eventually settling for his transfer) not only was he upset with me, but some of the other guys in the unit, his buddies and good men themselves, tried to convince me that it wasn’t a big deal, and that ejecting

him would seriously damage morale. It took me a couple weeks to get him kicked out of our unit. I had to convince the battalion commander that one of us would have to go, because I refused to serve with or command a thief who could steal from his own buddies. They finally just switched him into one of the other companies on the base. It took me a lot longer to struggle with whether I was right or had made a terrible error in judgment. After all, in the end he was a good guy who you could count on to cover your back, and pilfering was almost an inevitable part of army life…. Was it fair to put a blotch on his service record forever? ow does one find the appropriate balance between “live and let live,” and refusing to compromise with evil and wrongdoing on the other? If you are standing in the supermarket and someone cuts the line, should you demand he leave the line, and call for store personnel to remove him from the store? Or is that getting too stressed out? Where do we draw the line, and how do we know when immoral or unethical behavior should not be tolerated, and when we should just let it go? This week’s portion of Lech Lecha provides a case in point: It seems that the shepherds of Avram (Abraham) and the shepherds of Lot, Avram’s nephew, had gotten into an argument big enough that it came to Avram’s attention. (Bereishit (Genesis) 12:5-7) While the Torah is vague about the exact nature of the conflict between the shepherds, Rashi (Rav Shlomo Yitzchaki; 11th century Biblical commentator), quoting the Midrash (Rabbinic legend) makes it very clear: Lot’s shepherds were stealing, and Avram’s shepherds were taking the moral high ground. More puzzling than the conflict however, is Avram’s inexplicable reaction to it: “And


Avram said to Lot: ‘Let there not be a quarrel between you and I and between my shepherds and your shepherds. Behold all the land is before you; please separate from me; if you go left I will go right, and if you go right, I will go left.” (12:8-9) “Separate from me”? This is Avram’s great solution to conflict? Bear in mind that this is not an argument with someone you never met who is in you parking space; this is Avram’s own nephew! The verse does not actually say Avram and Lot were arguing; it says the argument was between the shepherds. So why does Avram feel Lot should leave? How depressing to think that even the paradigm of loving-kindness in this world can reach the point of no return in his relationship with his own nephew. Is this the blueprint for Jewish ethics? When the going gets a little tough, just go?! Equally disturbing is Lot’s response: Lot actually chooses to leave the tent of Abraham and live in S’dom, the most wicked and sinful place on earth! How could someone who grew up in what must have been the most ethical place on earth end up in S’dom? Perhaps Avram understands he cannot decide where Lot should be, Lot has to make that decision on his own. It seems Lot has sunken to a level which precludes his living in the tent of Avram, and with a heavy heart, Lot is told in no uncertain terms he needs to leave. This does not, incidentally, mean Avram ever stops loving Lot and caring for him. After all, when hearing that Lot has been taken captive, Avram goes to war against no less than five kings to save him. But they can no longer live together. Interestingly, if one looks closely at the story in the Biblical commentaries, it may well be that the straw that broke the camel’s

back was not that the shepherds of Lot were stealing; it was that Lot didn’t see anything wrong with it. When does someone cross a line to the extent that we need to distance ourselves from them? Not when they do wrong, but when they justify it, and perceive it to be right. When right is wrong and wrong is right, then society is upside down, and if we can’t remove such a society, we at least need to remove ourselves from it. And this is true in every aspect of life. When someone you love does something terrible, it is important to be able to deal with it, forgive them, and move on. But if they don’t really see anything wrong with what they are doing, then we have to absolutely refuse to live with such norms. This week, a nine year old Jewish girl was shot at by an Arab terrorist at point blank range as she arrived home from youth groups. It is nothing short of incredible that Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority with whom we are supposed to be negotiating peace with, do not even pretend to protest. Indeed, we will never have a peace process in the absence of a peace partner. Maybe we need to take a lesson from Abraham, who 4000 years ago suggested that there is a line in the moral sand one cannot cross, and there are some people and even societies one simply cannot negotiate with. If a society is teaching their children to emulate suicide bombers; if people are dancing on rooftops because missiles are raining down on civilians, and partying in the streets because the twin Towers collapsed, then there is just no one to talk to. And while we dream of creating a world where all peoples live together in peace; our challenge is to make sure we are happy with that peaceful world we create.

15 THE JEWISH STAR October 11, 2013 • 7 CHESHVAN 5774

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October 11, 2013 • 7 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR


Signs of Inwood growth… Boy Scout troop 613… Continued from page 1 started as a minyan in someone’s basement about five years ago. They daven nusach Ashkenaz. The shul’s Rav, Rabbi Pinchos Weinberger, joined as a member and was asked to become the Rav. He is the son of Rabbi Dovid Weinberger of Shaarei Tefillah of Lawrence. Rabbi Pinchas Weinberg is also the rosh yeshiva, along with Rabbi Yissacher Blinder, of Yeshiva Nishmas HaTorah in Bais Medrash Heichal Dovid, in Lawrence. Mayer said Bais Tefila has already purchased a property for a mikvah and are “in the planning and development stage and are raising funds.” “The closest one is in Far Rockaway,” explained Zachter. “For the women, Friday night is a major shlep. There is a need for another nice mikvah in the Five Towns.. We hired a contractor and the planning is moving along.” Mayer noted that young families have been moving to Inwood, where “housing is a little less expensive.” “It’s a wonderful community, one shul, one community, it’s not spread out,” he said. “It helped that Yeshiva Ketana moved there,” stated Mayer. “They have a beautiful building, a Bais Midrash, a kitchen and are very gracious to us and very accommodating.” There are currently more than 50 families in the community, with ”two more moving in this month.” He said. “It’s wonderful — the Jewish community is the shul and the shul is the Jewish community.” Mayer cited the small town feel of Inwood along with the advantages of big city ameni-

ties available in the Five Towns. The shul has a discretionary fund and a gemach (free loan) that the Rav administers. Shiurim (classes) include a halacha lmaaseh shiur (practical Jewish law class) by the Rav and a shiur for women. “We’re closer to Brach’s than any other of the Five Towns — we are across the street from Lawrence. We are a ten minute walk to the White Shul and Shaarei Tefilla.” He said the community’s children attend school at Siach Yitzchok, Yeshiva Ketana, Darchei Torah, TAG, Bnos Bais Yaakov, and Bais Yaakov Ateres Miriam. Inwood, said Mayer, “is robust. It is continuing to strengthen and it’s wonderful.”


Continued from page 1 pared to tackle any situation they may come across.” He pointed out that “be prepared” is the scouting motto. “The oldest scouts teach the younger scouts,” he continued. “This allows them to learn how to work with a group of kids, and helps them (reinforce what they learned) when they teach. It helps them develop leadership and teaching skills, working with groups, dealing with scouts with different needs and interest levels.” Kahn explained said there are 140 merit badges under the Boy Scouts of America. An Eagle Scout must earn a minimum of 21, with 13 required and the others to be chosen by the scout. Some of the required ones include communications, first aid, citizenship, cooking, hiking or swimming, personal management, personal fitness, emergency preparedness and family life. “Every badge and scout is different — most require no set time to complete, some (they) can do in an hour or two.” Kahn, an accountant, noted that the personal management badge, relating to financial matters, requires the scout to prepare a budget and track it for 90 days. He also pointed out that the personal fitness badge, related to keeping fit and staying healthy, requires the scout to track certain activities over 90 days to “show improvement.” A typical hike for the troop covers four to six miles. This Sunday, 613 is heading to the Palisades, Kahn said. In a pre-hike meeting, they will discuss what to do on a hike, what to bring, how to pack a backpack for efficiency, and how to behave. He emphasized that they are taught

to “leave no trace” — to clean the campsite when they leave, “that what we leave with we come back with, to stay with the group, to stay with your buddy and be aware of safety and your surroundings. There is an old adage related to hiking, ‘Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints.’” Kahn noted the costs of $50 annual dues and $100 for the uniform and handbook. The assistant scoutmaster is Stu Milworn, a West Hempstead electrician who also has a son in the group, and their committee chairperson, the liaison between the troop and Congregation Anshei Shalom, is Joe Varon, a retired public school teacher with a long involvement in scouting, said Kahn. “We are always recruiting,” stressed Kahn. “They can join anytime. Boys should join because they can learn skills they will not learn anywhere else. Not everybody’s built to play sports. Not everybody’s interested in sports. It give kids the opportunity to learn skills to help them down the road, with leadership, to deal with other kids, teaches responsibility, to complete a task, life skills, deferred gratification and working towards a goal.” For more information email steve_kahn@

800,000 at Jerusalem funeral for Rav Yosef… Continued from page 1 ceived smicha (rabbinical ordination) at age 20. After he married, he was invited to teach at a yeshiva in Cairo and headed the rabbinical court. He returned to the new State of Israel three years later and served on the rabbinical court in Petah Tikva. To much acclaim, in 1952 he published the first of many books on Jewish law, “Chazon Ovadia,” on the laws of Pesach. He founded yeshivot for the Sephardic community, served on rabbinical courts, and authored many books on responsa (rabbinical rulings) and halacha (Jewish law). He became Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Tel Aviv in 1968 and Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel (Rishon Letzion) from 1973 to 1983. He founded the Sephardic Shas political party in 1982 and, for the rest of his life, was its spiritual leader. Rabbi Simantov of Cedarhurst recounted that as a child he saw Rav Yosef, and again when he was learning in Israel and later when Rav Yosef spoke in Deal, NJ. Simantov learned Sephardi customs and pronunciation from his parents, who are from Afghanistan. When he learned at Mir in Jerusalem, he would go to the Bait Knesset Yazdim (named for the city of Yaz in Iran) where Rav Yosef would present a Motzai Shabbat shiur (Saturday night class) that grew in popularity and was eventually broadcast live in Israel and Europe. “It was mostly halacha,” he recalled. “The end was 15 minutes of musar (ethics) on the parasha (weekly Torah portion). His main influence was on the Jewish community to try to teach every man, woman and child halacha. His main shiurim (classes) were always halacha l’maaseh (practical Jewish law).”

Rav Yosef’s Ahavat Yisrael Recounted by one of Rav Yosef’s sons: At age 79, Rav Ovadia had his first heart attack and the doctors said that he needed immediate bypass surgery. He asked to defer the surgery for three hours so he could return home first. His family begged him to first do the surgery, but Rav Ovadia insisted. He said that he was in the midst of writing an answer to a question for an agunah (a woman whose husband is missing and who does not have a Jewish

“He would go into the topic and explain, so clear even a four year old could understand. He would go into the background — Rishonim (rabbis of the 11th to the 15th centuries CE, prior to the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) and the Acharonim (rabbis after the writing of the Shulchan Aruch). Even as Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, he would run from city to city, town to town, to convince parents — shoemakers, carpenters, painters —they came to learn at his shiurim— to send their children to yeshivot.” He stressed the importance of Sepharadim knowing their own tradition and that they “have to follow their own customs. We go according to our Sepharadi poskim (Jewish legal decisors) and [we] should not give up [our] heritage.” Rav Yosef had said that it was OK to go to Ashkenaz (European-style) yeshivot, explained Simantov, but due to the

bill of divorce and is thus not free to remarry). Since he did not know how and when he would come out of the surgery, he said that he worried that if he did not first halachically free the agunah to marry, who would do so, who would care about her predicament? He returned home to complete the written explanation of the Jewish legal reasons why this woman was free to marry. Only then did he return to the hospital for his surgery.

difference in prayers and customs, “make your own minyan on Rosh Hashana, Kippur and Zachor.” Simantov explained that Sepharadim eat Bait Yosef meat, a level of Glatt that is more machmir (stringent) than the Rema (Rav Moshe Isserles, Ashkenazic decisor whose addendums to the Sephardic leaning Shulchan Aruch highlight the Ashkenazic customs), following Rabbi Yosef Caro, mechaber (codifier) of the Shulchan Aruch. When it became known that the Sepharadi bochurim (students) in Ponevitch Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, Israel stopped eating meat, this convinced the administration to have Bait Yosef meat there for them, Simantov recounted. Rav Ovadia was also makpid (careful) on kemach yoshon (old wheat) and was against the wearing of wigs, preferring that women wear hats. Rav Yosef wrote more than 100 books,

mostly on halacha and written in Hebrew in a way that anyone could understand. “He felt that one of the most important things was bringing Sepharadi halacha out and available for people to follow,” Simantov said. He recalled Rav Yosef’s radio show in Israel, Pinat Hahalacha (Jewish law corner), that answered questions on practical Jewish law submitted by anyone. “He spoke very clearly,” he remembered, “anybody could understand.” He unified the Sepharadim — Syrian, Persian, Moroccan — who had different minhagim (customs), but he taught them to follow Rav Yosef Caro, the Bait Yosef of the Shulchan Aruch, especially in Eretz Yisrael because that was where he was the posek (halachic decisor.) “There is not one Sepharadi rabbi who doesn’t use his sefarim (religious books),” Simantov said. “Almost any questions on halacha he has in his books. He clarified any practical law.” Simantov oberserved Rav Yosef at different times before mincha where he picked up something to learn in the brief moments when he was waiting for the prayers to begin. “He was known not to waste a second.” “It was not just his encyclopedic knowledge but he brought down practically every source, some [of whom people] never heard of. Everybody used his seforim, Ashkenaz too.” “He wrote in a poetic way,” he said. “When he proved a point he wrote ‘vhinay kamah alumati vgam nitzavah’,” restating the words of the first Yosef “and my sheaf arose and stood erect’”[explaining what Yosef saw in his dream in Beraishit]. “His handwriting was beautiful, like art.” May his memory be for a blessing.

17 THE JEWISH STAR October 11, 2013 • 7 CHESHVAN 5774

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October 11, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 7 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR


Jewish Star Calendar â&#x20AC;˘Submit events to â&#x20AC;˘Put event DATE in subject line. â&#x20AC;˘ Deadline is Thursday 10 am, 7 days before cover date.â&#x20AC;˘ Listings may be edited for style and space. â&#x20AC;˘You MUST include a price of admission or specify FREE, as well as an email address or phone number that can be published for readers to conďŹ rm your event.





With Rabbi Shalom Axelrod of Young Israel of Woodmere. Weekly at Traditions Restaurant, 302 Central Avenue, off Rockaway Blvd., Lawrence. 12:30-1:30 pm. Buy a $12 lunch, eat and learn. Alan Stern 516-398-3094.

Discussion of our matriarchs continues with â&#x20AC;&#x153;RIVKA: What bothered her about her pregnancy,â&#x20AC;? led by speaker Michal Horowitz. JCC of the Greater Five Towns, 207 Grove Ave., Cedarhurst. 11:30 amâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;12:30 pm. $15. Contact, Rachayle Deutsch at (516)569-6733 ext. 222, rachayle.deutsch@ďŹ



Saul Fathi discusses Masada and the siege by Roman troops that ended in the mass suicide of the 960 Jewish rebels and their families hiding there. 1 pm. JCC of the Greater Five Towns, 207 Grove Ave., Cedarhurst. Contact, Rachayle Deutsch, (516)569-6733 ext. 222, rachayle.deutsch@ďŹ


BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB 6DWXUGD\2FW :RUNRXW VSRUWVDXFWLRQ Five Towns Emunah and Studio Inna present a Fitness Extravagana. For women: Club-style cardio kickboxing, indoor cycling class, yoga in a private room. For men: Studio Inna Boot Camp. Also: Sports memorabilia live auction. 8:30 pm. $54. For info, To rsvp,


Levi Yitzchak Family Center/Library hosts its Inaugural Breakfast, chaired by Mr. and Mrs. Ben and Lynda Brafman. Community support provides a vital source of revenue, offsetting costs for the libraryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exceptional programs and facility improvements; donations also provide membership for families who would not otherwise have access to Jewish books and programs. To donate, visit, call 516-374-BOOK (2665), or e-mail lisa@ 564 Central Ave., Cedarhurst. 9:30 am. Call or email to rsvp.


Author Jeremy Dauber will discuss â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sholem Aleichem: A Man as Improbable as His Characters,â&#x20AC;? at the Central Queens YM & YWHA, part of a series presented by the Hevesi Jewish Heritage Library. 1:30 pm. 67-09 108 St, Forest Hills. 718-268-5011,

6WDUWHU<LGGLVK A ďŹ ve-week beginners Yiddish class begins tonight at Young Israel of Woodmere. 8-9:10 pm. $45. To register, contact Ruth Solomon at


Rebbetzin Weinbergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shiur for women resumes today. 11 am. Aish Kodesh, 894 Woodmere Place, Woodmere. 516-374-8596.


Judaismâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relevance in modern life is explored in this monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Torah studies series, each Tuesday night with Rabbi Shimon Kramer. Open to all regardless of levels of Jewish knowledge. Chabad Center for Jewish Life, 2174 Hewlett Ave #101. 8â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9 pm. Free (textbook $18). For info call Chaya at 516-833-3057. To enroll,


92nd Street Y at the Museum of Jewish Heritage presents :â&#x20AC;?Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof.â&#x20AC;? Hear why Tevye the milkman, the creation of the great Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, was reborn as blockbuster entertainment and worldwide cultural touchstone. With Alisa Solomon, author of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wonder of Wonders.â&#x20AC;? 7 pm. 36 Battery Place, Manhattan. Tickets from $15. Call 212-415-5500.

-HZLVKPHGLFDO New Jewish Learning Institute course, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Life in the Balance: Jewish Perspectives on Everyday Medical Dilemmas,â&#x20AC;? Six Wednesdays beginning tonight at Chabad of Roslyn. 8â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9:30 pm. 75 Powerhouse Road, Roslyn Heights. Call for price, 516-484-3500.


BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB 6DWXUGD\2FW /LYLQJZLWKFKLOGUHQ Scholar in Residence Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, founder and dean of Darchei Noam of Monsey (a school that is noted for its positive childcentered learning environment), founder and director of the Center for Jewish Family Life, and author of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Living & Parenting.â&#x20AC;? Drasha, 11 am. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Art of the Deal: Negotiating with your Children (and Parents),â&#x20AC;? 5:30 pm. Congregation Beth Shalom, 390 Broadway, Lawrence. 516-569-3600.

Teens will consider, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Is It Legit? Steering Your Way Through Everyday Ethical Dilemmas.â&#x20AC;? Jewish Learning Institute course for teens, six Tuesdays beginning tonight, with Rabbi Yaakov Wilansky at Chabad of Roslyn. Tonightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s topic: Privacy (Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; duty to protect you, but does that give them license to read your text messages? Is it okay to spy on your friends? Do you have the right to your own space and privacy?); subsequent weeks will tackle bullying, honesty, responsibility, parents, kindness and forgiveness. 75 Powerhouse Road, Roslyn Heights. $89. 7-8:15 pm. Call 516-484-3500.


BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB 7RUDK.DEEDODK6FLHQFH Rabbi Shmuel Klatzkin, Ph.D.. explores, 6XQGD\2FW â&#x20AC;&#x153;Torah, Kabbalah and Science: ConďŹ&#x201A;ict or 8SSHU:HVW6LGHWRXU 92nd Street Y presents a walking tour of Manhattanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jewish Upper West Side. During the 1930s, a signiďŹ cant number of Jewish refugees escaping Europe moved there to join an already diverse community. Urban historian Marty Shore explores the wealth of cultural history and architecture in this fascinating area, which remains a constantly evolving heavily Jewish area. 10:45 am. Tickets from $35. Call 212-415-5500 for further information and reservations.

:+HPSVWHDGFRQFHUW Gala concert at the Jewish Center of West Hempstead. Featuring piano compositions by Debussy, Chopin, Pinto and Mozart, and vocal works consisting of operatic selections, Hebrew and Yiddish Melodies, and Broadway favorites, performed by Audrey Schneider and Arbie Orenstein. $20 (four tickets and name in program for $100). 2 pm. 711 Dogwood Ave, West Hempstead. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Fran Welner, 516-4851682.

ConďŹ&#x201A;uence? Jewish or Universal? Kabbalahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Life-Improving BeneďŹ ts.â&#x20AC;? 8 pm. Chabad of Roslyn, 75 Powerhouse Road, Roslyn Heights. $10. 516-484-3500.


Pianist Jonathan Biss and his mother, violinist Miriam Fried, join for a program comprised of violin and piano sonatas of JanĂĄ ek, Schumann and Beethoven. Fried has been recognized for many years as one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s preeminent violinists. 8 pm. Tickets from $35. Call 212 415-5500. 92nd Street Y, Manhattan.

BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB 6XQGD\1RY $UWRQ/RZHU(DVW6LGH Shoshanah Brombacher opens â&#x20AC;&#x153;Colors of Chanukah: The Art of Shoshanah Brombacher,â&#x20AC;? with a presentation of her works.1:30 pm; part of the all-day Fifth Jewish Heritage Festival. Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center, 400 Grand Street, between Clinton and Suffolk streets.


Tournament at Young Israel of North Woodmere. $25 entry. To enter, email PingPong@ 634 Hungry Harbor Road.

A day-long exploration of the Lower East Sideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jewish history, including walking tours, vintage goods beneďŹ t sale, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Gals From the Hoodâ&#x20AC;? (a presentation by four renowned guest speakers). Day begins at 10:45 AM at the LESJC Kling & Niman Family Visitor Center, 400 Grand Street, between Clinton and Suffolk streets. Admission for all tours is $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors; children age 8 and under tour free. Visit




BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB 0RQGD\1RY 6XQGD\2FW Five Towns Table Tennis Tournament. Round 1, 1 to 3 pm. Championship match 5 pm. $35 entry. To enter, email 634 Hungry Harbor Road.

Agudath Israel Pre-Election Legislative Breakfast. Featuring Benjamin M. Lawsky, NYS Superintendent of Financial Services, speaking on â&#x20AC;&#x153;New York Banking Law and Enforcing Iran Sanctions,â&#x20AC;? and former CIA Director James Woolsey on â&#x20AC;&#x153;Security Issues in the Middle East and the Role of Democracies.â&#x20AC;? 8 am. Downtown Association, 60 Pine St, Manhattan. Preregistration required:

19 THE JEWISH STAR October 11, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 7 CHESHVAN 5774

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g n i t n e s e r Now P The 29th Annual

Five Towns Towns Community Chest Community


October 12th, 13th and 14th • 11 AM to 7 PM Andrew J. Parise Park, Cedarhurst Outdoor Movie Saturday Night at 8:30 Organized by The Five Towns Community Chest

Rides and Games for all ages!!!


Food court by Mauzone of Lawrence Mezzanote of Cedarhurst A selection of musical talent for all tastes will be arranged by Toby Tobias



October 11, 2013 • 7 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR


Also Sponsored by: Sunny Atlantic Beach Club, The Hoffman Family, The Harrison-Kerr Family, The Altheim Family, The Schlaff Family, Warren Levi Karate, The Henry Family, The Sklar-Bodner Family, American Drive-In Cleaners, Dr. Greenstein, Levine and Sheer, and Sacolick, Dr. Michael Feldman, East Coast Endodontics, The Spiro Family, Excelcior Group Inc., The Party Source, NC Auxiliary Police, The Village of Cedarhurst, LC Fire Department, Adelphi University, The Lawrence School District, The Community Chest Youth Board, The Town of Hempstead, Mittman Electric, Kaufman-Kemp Families, La Toys Etc., Gourmet Glatt, The Kaminer Family, The Gruman Family, Marin Construction, Satco Bulbs & Lighting, The Shores of Atlantic Beach, Top Class Electric, Hatzalah, Sanitation Disctrict #1, Independent Coach, Dime Bank, Richard Waxman, PC

October 11, 2013  

The Jewish Star