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Bookworm: The Akeidah as prayer Page 2 Politics: Al Sharpton’s under fire, and Dunetz cheers Page 4 Schools Page 6 Akeidat Yitzchak: Sanctifying G-d’s Name with life Page 5 Calendar Page 14


Playing with fire in Woodmere

By Yitzchak Carroll Children toured the fire trucks and learned fire safety tips at the Woodmere firehouse last Sunday. “October is Fire Prevention month and we are trying to educate the public on fire safety, as well as what we do as firefighters and EMTs (emergency medical technicians),” said Woodmere Fire Department Chief Lenny Cherson, adding a helpful tip for adults. “You should check the batteries in your smoke alarms at least twice a year, when you change the clock.” “My favorite part was going on the fire truck because it was really cool,” said Moshe Aryeh, 6, of Woodmere. Children were taught what to do in the event of a house fire and used fire extinguishers to snuff out stove fires. There was an auto extrication and a display of how a saw cuts through metal. Joseph Whittaker, an investigator

from the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office, along with his K9 companion, Umi, conducted a demonstration of the dog’s ability to detect accelerants, as children watched in amazement. Youngsters tried on firefighting gear and learned about the role of firefighters and EMTs. “We let their kids come down and experience all of the fun we have as firefighters,” said First Assistant Chief Benjamin Horowitz. A version of this story first appeared in the Nassau Herald. Photos by Monica Rzewski.

Free clinic opens to serve Rockaways poor By Malka Eisenberg The Rockaways continue to suffer one year after Hurricane Sandy, with many indigent people living in the narrow sixmile-long stretch between the upscale Five Towns to the east and Belle Harbor to the west. This week, an organization known for bringing free medical care to countries in the Third World and war-ravaged regions, is bringing its services to the peninsula, opening Doctors of the World Rockaway Free Clinic at 230 Beach 102nd St. in Rockaway Beach.

Noah Barth, program coordinator, said the clinic, the group’s first such venture in the United States, would “provide free primary care service for uninsured residents of the Rockaways and neighboring communities.” “We brought volunteer doctors to people in the Rockaways one week after the storm,” Barth said. “We saw that there was a shortage of health care access. Patients had a high incidence of untreated chronic disease and a lot of people were without health insurance.” He said that patients had upper

respiratory infections and chronic illnesses and mental health issues that could not be addressed since many doctors’ offices were closed. “A lot of these problems existed before Sandy,” said Barth; some people were in “really bad shape and hadn’t seen a doctor in months from before the storm. That helped us understand that it is an underserved community in need of medical services.” The clinic’s medical director and nurse managers will be paid but most of the doctors and nurses working there will be Continued on page 13

Shabbat candlelighting: 5:51 pm. Shabbat ends: 6:51 pm. 72 minute zman: 7:22 pm. Torah reading: Parshat Vayera >> If you’d like to distribute The Jewish Star in your shul or store, call for free delivery: 516-622-7461 ext. 291 <<

‘Upstander’ students

HAFTR takes lead in moving beyond bullying By Ann E. Friedman A new program at the Lower School of the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway is teaching fourth and fifth graders to go beyond not being a bully. The “Upstander” program asks HAFTR students to be an “Upstander — someone who, unlike a bystander, stands up to bullying,” said the school’s psychologist, Dr. Jennifer Yedlin, who developed the program. “Upstander behavior includes standing up to a bully, tell[ing] a teacher or other staff member when bullying is happening and ask[ing] friends to include a child who is being left out or ignored.” The program, which was implemented when school began last month, promotes awareness of how harmful bullying can be, using storybooks, role-play scenarios and craft projects; it asks students to come up with their own definitions of bullying and describe their own bullying experiences, Yedlin said. Schools today “teach the whole child by addressing their social and emotional needs,” as well as academic requirements, said Lower School Principal Joy Hammer. “At HAFTR, children participate in weekly socialskills workshops where they learn the tools to build good character,” Hammer said. “Students learn the importance of being part of a team, stand up for one another and take comfort in knowing the adults around them are here to help,” she said. Meanwhile, advances in technology have taken bullying to a new level, said Yedlin. “Technology provides anonymity and adds a new layer to bullying that was not present in the past,” she said. “Cyberbullying can be the scariest kind of bullying because many people can become involved very quickly, whether by mass text messages or through social media.” “I think bullying comes from a place of insecurity,” Yedlin continued. “Often it’s a quest for power from someone who has very little power in their own life, or a way to divert attention away from the bully. It’s my hope that by learning these things at a young age, they will be prepared to face the social challenges of middle school and high school and create a safe environment for all students.” Rebecca Jerozolim, a social worker at HAFTR Continued on page 13


VOL 12, NO 40 Q OCTOBER 18, 2013 / 14 CHESHVAN 5774


2 October 18, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 14 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR

The Akeidah as prayer


n most of our prayer books, the English translation of the daily recitation of the Akeidah lacks an extensive commentary. A recently issued commentary on the weekday Shacharit service, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Siddur Illuminated By Chassidusâ&#x20AC;? [Kehot 2013], by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger and Rabbi Sholom Ber Wineberg, is an exception, providing us with an informed and wellKOSHER written analysis that BOOKWORM would serve us well for this coming Shabbat Vayera and the annual Torah reading of the Akeidah: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The fundamental merit of the Akeidah is not that Avraham was prepared to sacriďŹ ce his son. We see â&#x20AC;&#x201D; unfortunately far too often in our history â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Alan Jay Gerber manifold examples of people who gave their lives, and parents who sacriďŹ ced their children, for the sanctiďŹ cation of G-dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name. Instead, the uniqueness of Avrahamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sacriďŹ ce was that he did so eagerly, with remarkable alacrity and a joyous willingness to carry out G-dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s desire.â&#x20AC;? The authors give special attention to the term, â&#x20AC;&#x153;tested,â&#x20AC;? which they also translate as â&#x20AC;&#x153;lifted up.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Avraham is identiďŹ ed with the service of loving G-d. The intent of the Akeidah was to motivate Avraham to self-transcendence and thus elevate his service to a higher level.â&#x20AC;? Consider the following: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The uniqueness


of the Akeidah was that this was the ďŹ rst time a Jewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life was called upon to be sacriďŹ ced for G-d. Breaking through â&#x20AC;&#x201D; being ďŹ rst â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is difďŹ cult in any dimension of Divine service. Certainly, this is true with regard to self-sacriďŹ ce.â&#x20AC;? Please take sharp notice of this observation: â&#x20AC;&#x153;By making this utterly selďŹ&#x201A;ess commitment to sacriďŹ ce Yitzchak, Avraham made the self-sacriďŹ ce of his descendants possible in subsequent generations.â&#x20AC;? With this in mind, all of the persecutions faced by our people down through the ages now take on a truly spiritual aspect, giving it all a special meaning and purpose. Let me conclude with a quote providing an excellent perspective of, and a deeper appreciation for, the text of this Torah reading. In commenting upon the verse, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now I know that you are G-d fearing,â&#x20AC;? the commentary states the following: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Avraham is identiďŹ ed as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Avraham who loved Me,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; for his nature was characterized by love and kindness. Here, he was asked to perform an act that required him to show the opposite qualities: might and severity. As such, he had to overcome his natural tendency of mercy and his inherent love for his son. His willingness to do so showed that his commitment to G-d had reached the level of selftranscendence. His awe of G-d was so great that he went beyond his natural tendencies. This demonstrated that even his love for G-d was not merely an expression of his own nature, but a result of his commitment to fulďŹ ll G-dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s will.â&#x20AC;? Hopefully, an even more expansive commentary on the Akeidah, as part of the Jewish liturgy, will ďŹ nd its way into future, revised English language editions of the siddur.




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Photo illustration by Marla Whitesman

To Cuba, with love: Friends launch kosher tour to hard-to-reach isle By Barbara Lewis, Two Jewish women, separated by a generation in age and more than 760 miles, have turned their love of Cuba into a thriving tour business that has brought thousands of people to the island. And theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re about to coordinate the ďŹ rst regular kosher tours of Cuba in the Castro era. Marla Whitesman, now 47, of Flint, Michigan, said that after she accompanied her husand on a trip to Cuba in 2000, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I came home thinking I had to work to get the Jews off the island. I knew I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do that, so I decided to work to make their lives better on the island. I did a Web search for Jews in Cuba and saw an article on a Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;nai Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;rith site. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how I met Miriam.â&#x20AC;? Miriam Saul, 64, of Atlanta, was born in Cuba but left when she was 11. In 2000, she had returned for the ďŹ rst time in more than 40 years â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the same time as Marla, though their paths never crossed â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and wrote about the experience in a Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;nai Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;rith magazine. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how the two connected. Working through licensed organizations, Saul began leading group tours for Jewish Americans to interact with the 1,500 Jews of Cuba. Before long, she was leading a group every six months. The travelers brought thousands of pounds of supplies to Cuba: Judaica (including Haggadahs in Hebrew, English and Spanish), school supplies, baby items, art supplies. Before every trip, she would spend long hours collecting, classifying and packaging the materials. Whitesman ďŹ&#x201A;ew to Atlanta to help. Whitesman began leading groups in 2006, for Jewish federations, university Hillel groups, synagogues, and families celebrating bar or bat mitzvahs. She arranged for as many as 10 in a year, sometimes doing four groups back to back. Whitesmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Saulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s groups brought a ner tamid (eternal light) to the Jewish community in Guantanamo; brought a lulav and etrog for Sukkot to Santa Clara; started Hebrew classes in Santiago de Cuba; and helped restore Jewish cemeteries. They provided â&#x20AC;&#x153;Macabi Cubaâ&#x20AC;? jerseys to Cuban athletes, which they still proudly wear years later. On one trip, Saul met a man who wanted to build a Holocaust memorial in Cuba. He asked her to bring something that had survived the Holocaust. Whitesman said a large majority of Cubaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jews left after the revolution. Most of those who stayed intermarried and assimilated; it was difďŹ cult to be a good Communist and practice religion. But after 1992, when the government eased restrictions on religion,

younger Jews began searching for their identity, eager to learn about their roots. There are three synagogues in Havana, including one that houses the islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only mikvah, and synagogues in Guantanamo, Santiago, and Camaguey. The newest synagogue is in Santa Clara. In other towns, Jewish residents gather in private homes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They have no full-time rabbis, cantors or mohels, yet they embrace their Judaism,â&#x20AC;? Whitesman said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A rabbi from Mexico visits Cuba a few times a year. But the community has become very self-sufďŹ cient, proud and knowledgeable.â&#x20AC;? Whitesman and Saul say emphatically that there is no anti-Semitism in Cuba. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There never was,â&#x20AC;? Saul said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is great national pride in the community. The people say they are Cubans ďŹ rst and Jews second.â&#x20AC;? Whitesman and Saulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new travel agency, Other Cuban Journeys, will customize a trip for any interest, even pre-1960 classic cars, which abound in Cuba because most Cubans were forbidden to purchase new cars and American cars were embargoed by the U.S. Now they are about to reach another milestone: the ďŹ rst kosher group tour to Cuba since the 1950s. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a kosher butcher in Cuba, but it is not certiďŹ ed to the satisfaction of the very Orthodox,â&#x20AC;? Whitesman said, adding that she knows only one Cuban who keeps strictly kosher, the president of the Jewish community. When she had Orthodox tour participants, they would load their luggage with canned and packaged food and aluminum foil to cook the limited foods they were able to eat. For the kosher endeavor, the women joined with Hersh Taubenfeld of Aventura, Fla., who has long experience leading kosher tours and cruises, and Ben Greszes, an Orthodox Cuban Jew from Long Island with a sense of the Orthodox communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs. They met with managers of the Melia hotel chain and convinced them that a kosher option would be successful because Jewish groups form such a large percentage of travelers to Cuba. One of the restaurants at Melia La Habana will be certiďŹ ed kosher and cholov Yisrael by Rabbi Levi Teitlebaum, director of the Ottawa Vaad Hakashrut. It will serve Other Cuban Journeysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; kosher travelers exclusively. The inaugural Glatt Kosher Mission to Cuba takes place Dec. 9â&#x20AC;&#x201C;16, costing $4,995 per person. Whitesman and Saul are planning more kosher trips in 2014, and will also create custom trips for synagogues and Jewish organizations. A version of this article was ďŹ rst published by the Detroit Jewish News.

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THE JEWISH STAR October 18, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 14 CHESHVAN 5774

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October 18, 2013 • 14 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR



Fighting back against Al Sharpton


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

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Why Yair Lapid is wrong on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict


hen I first read about Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s disagreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s insistence that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, I felt a degree of sympathy. Not for the substance of the argument, but for the manner in which Lapid expressed it. “My father didn’t VIEWPOINT come to Haifa from the Budapest ghetto in order to get recognition from Abu Mazen (Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas),” Lapid said Oct. 7 at New York’s 92nd Street Y. “Darn right,” I grunted at my Mac. The core ethos of Zionism, as Lapid himself Ben Cohen, JNS explained, is that we Jews are no longer the passive objects of other nations’ histories. We make our own history and we define ourselves for we are, as the Israeli national anthem Hatikvah declares in its penultimate line, “a free people in our own land.” But however much we might appreciate Lapid’s healthy dismissal of the opinions of those who deny the legitimacy of Jewish national aspirations, it is precisely because of those same aspirations that his argument is dangerously flawed. When you study what others call the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and what I prefer to call the Palestinian war against Israel’s legitimacy, it should be painfully apparent that it is the intangible aspects of this long dispute that have confounded a final agreement, and not the tangible ones. What I mean is this: if this dispute were solely about sharing a territory, equitable distribution of water rights, common security arrangements, and so forth, we might well have arrived at a resolution by now. When you look at other protracted conflicts ¬that have largely been resolved — such as the one in Northern Ireland between mainly Catholic Irish nationalists and mainly Protestant

Photo by Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid at a press conference on July 3. Unionists and the British government — success has stemmed from the basic fact that each party recognizes the other’s legitimacy. By contrast, what nags in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the rejection by the Palestinian side of the entire Zionist enterprise. The essential Palestinian message has, for more than a century, been that the Jews really have no right to be here in the first place. As long as the Palestinians reject Israel’s Jewish character, they will insist on the “right of return.” Recognition of Israel as the historic homeland of the Jewish people is the key reason why this conflict has persisted for so long. Negotiating with Palestinian leaders as if these objections don’t exist simply encourages Abbas and others to raise them at delicate moments. That way, they can portray the Israelis as intransigent occupiers, safe in the knowledge that the rest of the world regards the Palestinians as blameless victims. That is why Netanyahu’s unwavering stance on the need for Palestinian recognition of Israel’s Jewish character should be welcomed as a gesture of peace, not an excuse to perpetuate the status quo. Peace is only possible if the Palestinians revise the historical narrative that currently leads them to denigrate Israel as the “Zionist entity.” “Ah,” you say, “that’ll never happen.” And you may be right. But that’s a subject for another time.


inally, there is a movement developing to fight back against Al Sharpton, the professional bigot and racial agitator, not only within his own African-American community but also by a new media watchdog group that is reminding Sharpton’s MSNBC advertisers of the type of person with whom they are dealing. [Al Sharpton’s bigotry, especially toward the POLITICS TO GO Jewish Community in Crown Heights and at Freddy’s Fashion Mart in Harlem, was covered over the summer by this column in The Jewish Star.] Most clergymen try to build bridges across ethnic divides; Sharpton burns them. The “Reverend” Al has made a career of usJeff Dunetz ing bigotry to promote Al Sharpton; fanning the flames of hatred helps him market his number one product, Al Sharpton. Now it seems that there may be a bit of erosion of Sharpton’s popularity happening in Harlem, where four upstart clergymen have invited more than 100 churches to join them in knocking Sharpton off his pedestal. Speak Out Say It Loud, headquartered at Mount Neboh Baptist Church on Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., is a new coalition of black ministers determined to create a unified AfricanAmerican power base with citywide clout: “We are the church and our voice will be heard to the benefit of our community. Join more than 50 pastors and congregations assembling at the Mount Neboh Baptist Church to Speak Out about the deplorable conditions of our community, the injustice against our people and the corrupt dealings of self-elected officials. The church is still the church and with God we have miraculous power.” Mount Neboh pastor Johnnie Green feels Sharpton has neglected black New York while pursuing national fame and acclaim, the Daily News reported: “While [Sharpton] is jet-setting around the country, people are going to our churches saying they don’t have money to eat,” the Dallas native said. “People need somebody to fight for them.” Green and his allies argue that Sharpton has spent too much time plugging his new book, “The Rejected Stone,” and tending to his MSNBC show. “Sharpton isn’t a community organizer. He’s a personality,” scoffed Raymond Blanchette, head bishop of the United Churches for Kingdom Building.” The “Reverend Al disagrees: “We need to attack the issues, not each other,” Sharpton shot back. “If you want to be the big guy, be the big guy, be that. Don’t act like I’m not doing anything local. I am.” Sharpton acts the role of a power broker as he “holds audience” for candidates who

see him as their ticket to minority communities. Joe Lhota, the GOP candidate for mayor, last month made the pilgrimage to kiss Sharpton’s ring, an act that offended Reverend Green: “Lhota is running to Al Sharpton like he is the leader of the black community. He’s not!” It’s surprising any politician, especially a New York City one, would meet with Sharpton, since the Big Apple has been the scene of some of his most repulsive acts including Crown Heights, Freddy’s and Tawana Brawley, and the Central Park Jogger protests. Last week, a new media watchdog organization called Truth Revolt — formed as a conservative answer to the George Soros funded Media Matters — said it would focus on high-profile members of the media, holding them accountable for their bias. One of the group’s first efforts is to target advertisers who support Al Sharpton. “Now it’s time to let his advertisers know that we won’t stand for our purchases backing his propaganda, the group announced. “TruthRevolt is leading the fight to inform Sharpton’s financial backers just who Sharpton is — and what the consequences will be for continuing to support his race-baiting.” Truth Revolt is sponsoring a petition on its website asking advertisers not to sponsor Sharpton’s MSNBC program, and they have enlisted Norman Rosenbaum to help. Norman’s brother Yankel was killed in the Crown Heights pogrom. Truth Revolt quotes Norman as saying that advertisers, MSNBC, and President Obama should be ashamed to be associated with Sharpton: “Any person who does anything to legitimize Al Sharpton is doing a gross disservice to their own integrity, and in terms of Al Sharpton the individual, the greatest concern is they’re legitimizing a fraud and charlatan,” Rosenbaum said from Melbourne, Australia. He added, “He has never apologized, he has never offered any sincere remorse for the atrocious things he has done by way of terrible racist behavior and lies, for inciting racial events. Anybody who takes a look at that person and wants to spend advertising dollars on him should take a hard look at their moral stance in terms of their position in business, in commerce, and in the community.” Truth Revolt continued: Rosenbaum lashed out at the media and politicians who have legitimized Sharpton. “That is an absolute disgrace, regardless of who it is: business, media, or politician,” said Rosenbaum. “Now he’s the expert on race relations? He’s the expert on nothing, he’s set race relations back decades. What’s he ever done for anybody? Really, by substance, what has he ever done? For MSNBC to be employing him is a sad reflection on them.” In its first week, the petition drive (which is scheduled to run through January 1) has garnered almost 8,000 signatures. In his two decades as a professional bigot, the “Reverend” Al Sharpton has worked very hard to ensure recognition of his number one political goal — that would be the fame and popularity of The Reverend” Al Sharpton. It’s nice to see that after all of this time there is a movement to encourage people to wise up and spread the fame of what Al Sharpton really is, a self-serving racial agitator.

Why would any politician meet with Sharpton. The Big Apple has been the scene of some of his most repulsive acts, including Crown Heights, Freddy’s and Tawana Brawley, and the Central Park Jogger protests.

5 THE JEWISH STAR October 18, 2013 • 14 CHESHVAN 5774

Akeidat Yitzchak: Sanctifying G-d’s Name with life Rashi ad. loc.) What is the implied difference between slaughtering Yitzchak, and offering him up? I remember a very difficult conversation I had, years ago, with Dani’s parents at a memorial for him in their home. ••• There was a story about Dani that had made all the papers. A few days before he was killed, Dani managed to get a landline (not an easy thing in those days before cell phones) to call our Rosh yeshiva, Rav Yehudah Amital, with a halachic (Jewish law) question. Every soldier who has served serious time in Lebanon knows that the cherries in the orchards in springtime are incredible. I remember, on patrol along the security zone border beneath the Shouf mountains, popping delicious, sweet cherries fresh off the trees into our mouths as we walked through the abandoned orchards in no-man’s land. What Dani wanted to know was whether it was permissible to eat of these cherries, or whether it was stealing. Now, understand the background for this question. You are on patrol, in the middle of a war zone. And it is quite clear that these orchards here along the border are not being harvested by anybody, and their

Arab (non-Jewish) owners have probably long since abandoned hope of harvesting this particular season. Yet, an Israeli soldier, seeing all of his comrades freely partaking of these fruits and concerned at the implications of Jewish soldiers eating that which does not belong to them, actually takes the time and effort to call southern Israel and track down the head of the entire yeshiva, to ask him this question. What an army! So I told his parents how in awe I was of the fact that Dani did that, and what a Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d’s name) I thought it, along with his death on the front lines serving the Jewish people, really was. His father’s response still haunts me: “I would have preferred Dani sanctifying G-d’s name with his life, and not with his death.” ••• So the Meshech Chochmah (Rav Meir Simchah of D’vinsk) makes an astounding suggestion: What if Abraham actually misunderstood the test here? And what if, asks the Meshech Chochmah, this was precisely the point of the entire exercise! And what if Rashi is making exactly this point? Abraham lived in a time when it was the norm to sacrifice one’s sons to the gods; dy-

The challenge is not to die for G-d. The real question is, can you live for G-d?

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ing for G-d was exactly what the people of Abraham’s day would have assumed this test to be. But, says Rashi, G-d doesn’t ask Abraham to slaughter (meaning to destroy, or kill) his son; rather he asks him to offer him up. The challenge, Judaism suggests, is not to die for G-d; the real question is, can you live for G-d? Indeed, there are indications in the text that may support this idea. As an example, at the beginning of this story, it is G-d Himself who speaks with Abraham, but at the end, G-d’s word comes to Abraham through an angel, something that indicates a certain distancing from G-d. Indeed, perhaps you cannot pick up a knife to slaughter your son, and not end up distanced from G-d. But perhaps Abraham is distanced from G-d because he misunderstood what G-d wanted, which was the point of the entire exercise. G-d was teaching Avraham, and through him the world, that more than dying for G-d, the real challenge is to learn to live for G-d. And maybe that is the challenge that the binding of Isaac presents us with every day (which is why, incidentally, the tradition is to read it every morning). Every day, indeed, every moment, has its own special challenge. And in choosing to live up to that moment, we make the choice of embracing life, and imbuing that moment with purpose. Every day, in every moment, we make a choice, a choice of life over death. And it is in that choice that we discover not only who we are, but also all that we can be.


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his week’s parsha, Vayeira, includes one of the most challenging stories in Jewish history, Akeidat Yitzchak (the binding of Isaac). Four-thousand years ago, a parent is asked to do the unthinkable, to sacrifice his only beloved son, in the name of … what? Most people think this is an ancient legend, but it is a script that is all too familiar today, to so many families in Israel. Like FROM THE HEART the family of one of OF JERUSALEM my closest friends, Dani Moshitz H”yd. Dani, of blessed memory, was killed on patrol in Lebanon on the 19th of Adar in 1985. Dani’s father, from that day until the day he passed away a few years ago, was a shell of what he once was. Dani’s father once had the Rabbi Binny same twinkling smile Freedman as did his son, but I never saw it after 1985. Why does G-d require such a sacrifice from Abraham? Would anybody really want a relationship with such a G-d? At the beginning of this story, Rashi notes that the command of G-d is “Ha’Alehu” (offer him up). “Lo’ Ne’emar Shachtehu, Elah’ Ve’Ha’Alehu” (it does not say ‘slaughter him,’ rather it says ‘offer him up’.) (22:2;

October 18, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 14 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR


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Shabbaton evokes unity for students at Rambam Mesivta From Rambam Mesivta Over the Shabbos of Parshas Lech Lecha, Rambam Mesivtaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s talmidim attended the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual Shabbaton at Camp Seneca Lake. This exciting weekend was ďŹ lled with chevra, learning, sports and ruach. With the freshman class comprised of boys from 13 different elementary schools, Rambam arranged for them to arrive in camp one day ahead of the older students, to give them an opportunity to bond with their new classmates. Freshman Noah Schwartz was crowned Ninth Grade Champion, with Moe Horowitz a close second. The boys were introduced to an activity on perspective and individuality by Assistant Principal Hillel Goldman, who asked them to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Zoomâ&#x20AC;? in and out when making decisions. On Friday, the rest of the school arrived and the freshmen were able to bond with the upperclassmen. One of the hallmarks of Rambam Mesivta is that the school is close-knit and freshmen and sophomores and even juniors and seniors can know one another by name and forge friendships Kabbalat Shabbot, highlighted by senior Tani Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s davening and a dvar Torah by Mr. Goldman on the importance of chevra and its impact on Lot, was followed by an outstanding meal ďŹ lled with booming zemirot. Rabbi Avi Haar then gave a profound dvar Torah and the meal concluded with dessert.

Afterwards, the Rambam Rebbeim and alumni advisers led each grade in chaburahs revolving around â&#x20AC;&#x153;How to Lead the Proper Life as a Torah Jew in Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Society.â&#x20AC;? Then, Rabbi Yosef Ziskind held a special tisch ďŹ lled with even more zemirot, divrei Torah and hot cholent. Shabbos morning davening featured a dvar Torah from Rabbi Friedman on the challenges of dealing with the values in Lotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time as well as our own. There were words of inspiration from Rabbi Yaakov Wiesenberg. After the seudah, Rabbi Yotav Eliach, principal of Rambam Mesivta, gave a discourse on the Yom Kippur War and its impact on Emunah and how the Yad Hashem must be recognized in Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success and continued existence. Following some Shabbbos menuchah, the talmidim reassembled in the shul and Rabbi Friedman presented a meaningful shiur on the Netziv. Rabbi Friedman focused on the Netzivâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hachdamah to Sefer Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;resheit and the importance of being a mensch. Seudat Shlisheet culminated with moving messages from new Rambam Rebbe, Rabbi Aryeh Young; senior Sam Cohen, and Rambam alumus Dani Edelman. The boys sang into overtime Shabbos, davened Maariv and heard Rabbi Arie Chait make Havdala. The Shabbaton continued into Motzei Shabbos, with the

talmidim engaging in sports activities. The Flag Football Super Bowl almost went into overtime as the Tyrannosaurus Tabaks took on the Altman Aardvarks under the lights. In the end, Team Tabak was victorious and a freshman, Ben Koppel, was named Tournament MVP. Everyone then rushed toward the dining room for a melave malka with pizza, ice-cream â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and ruach provided by world-class guitarist, and ninth and twelfth grade Gemara Iyun Rebbe, Rabbi Ari Boiangiu. Rabbi Boiangiuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Band included an amazing keyboardist and premier drummer, Mr. HalbďŹ nger, father of junior Shmuel HalbďŹ nger. The night ended with the ďŹ nal round of the Homerun Derby, as Senior Mendy Duftler hit a dramatic three-run homer that allowed him to take the lead. Senior Eli Chesner was awarded the runner-up trophy while Yaacov Gross won the runner-up Gold Glove award, with Daniel Petrokovsky winning the First Place Gold Glove award. The seniors then retreated to a late, late BBQ and bonďŹ re by the lake, and a vasikin minyan was held for the early risers. The Shabbaton set the tone for the whole year and the kesher created between the talmidim and their Rebbeim and new friends will continue to be strengthened as the year moves forward. Students are already looking forward to the Spring Shabbaton!

Ramaz: A school for all seasons


By Jacqueline Vinar, Ramaz 1981 As a Ramaz alumna with two daughters at the high school, I am biased when it comes to my alma mater. Ramaz has never been very far from my heart; I still carry a pocket Siddur Rinat Yisroel that was passed on to me by a faculty member when I was yet a high school student myself. Founded in 1937, Ramaz is a co-educational modern Orthodox school on Manhattanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Upper East Side whose curriculum is geared to develop its students to be Torah Observant Jews while preparing them for college. The school attracts students from all over the New York metropolitan area including the Five Towns, Westchester, New Jersey and Connecticut. Emphasis is placed not only on education, but on acts of charity and kindness with the community at large. If thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a worthy cause, Ramaz will involve itself and its students. Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s collecting toiletries for soldiers in Israel, bagging food for City Harvest, doing Bikur Cholim at Lenox Hill Hospital,

building houses with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, or cleanup and repair after Hurricane Sandy, Ramaz is always in action. Israel awareness is a very important facet of Ramaz life â&#x20AC;&#x201D; it is part of the curriculum and students are constantly involved in activities which affect the State of Israel; spending a year of study in Israel after graduation is highly encouraged. Ramaz has a broad extra-curricular program, with more than 70 clubs including art and photography, dance team, chorus and drama, just to name a few. Sports teams are well represented. There are also debate and math teams, Chidon Tanach, and several school publications that students can join. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a student government, a chesed committee, and my personal favorite, a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Celebration of the Artsâ&#x20AC;? at the end of the school year. If you missed last Sundayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s open house, it would be worth your while to contact the school at 212-774-8093 or go online to and request an application. You and your child will be forever glad you did.

THE JEWISH STAR October 18, 2013 • 14 CHESHVAN 5774


Jewish group OKs blind women in cancer fight By Alina Dain Sharon, As of 2005, German gynecologist Dr. Frank Hoffmann was no longer allowed to send women under the age of 50 to get mammograms without first finding a breast abnormality during his routine examination. Since some breast lumps can be very small, Hoffmann wasn’t certain he could discover something during the few minutes he had to spend with each patient. That’s when he decided to launch an innovative program, Discovering Hands, hoping to give blind women an opportunity for a life-changing career by turning their more acute sense of touch into a skilled breast tumor detection tool. With 17 Medical Tactile Examiners (MTEs) already trained and working across

Germany, Hoffmann’s initiative has connected with the Ruderman Family Foundation, a organization based in Israel and Boston that prioritizes the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Jewish community. This partnership may enable Discovering Hands to branch out to Israel and the U.S. “I don’t know many examples of a Jewish and Israeli funder foundation investing in Germany. It’s not easy with our history,” Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, told With the support of various German governmental bodies and Hoffmann’s 2010 election as fellow by ASHOKA, an organization that invests with social entrepreneurs, Hoffmann was able to develop an entire cur-

riculum training blind and visually impaired women to become MTEs. The Ruderman foundation granted Discovering Hands an initial $72,000 donation in 2013 to help it grow across Germany, and it will offer logistical support to bring the program to Israel, where initial discussions have taken place with the Hadassah University HospitalMt. Scopus in Jerusalem. For women under the age of 40, mammograms are not always “very good at detecting tumors because the breast density is pretty high at that point and a lot of things are hidden,” said Dr. Virginia Kaklamani, an oncologist at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital and associate professor of hematology-oncology at Northwestern University

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October 18, 2013 • 14 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR


Feinberg School of Medicine, when asked about the potential of Discovering Hands. But studies have shown that “if nurses are taught how to do self breast exams and they do them on themselves,” then their exams are much more useful, Kaklamani told JNS. org. Therefore “the idea of having somebody trained to do breast exams, especially if because that individual … is visually impaired, [he or she] has a better sense of touch, I would think that would work.” In the MTE breast examination method, self-adhesive orientation stripes with tactile orientation points are attached to the patient’s breast in various positions, and the breast is divided into zones that allow the examiners to define the precise square centimeter where an abnormality is found. Unlike an exam by a doctor, an MTE breast examination takes between 30 to 60 minutes. Discovering Hands conducted a study in conjunction with the University of Essen, looking at 451 patients that were examined by MTEs. Among these patients, there were 32 abnormal findings that were discovered by the MTEs but not by the doctors. “Women with those findings would have been sent home by the doctors,” Hoffmann told JNS. org. A new peer review study will begin in November. Hoffmann believes that that his program has potential beyond breast cancer detection. “A well-trained sense of touch is useful in other diagnostic situations. MTEs one day (could examine) the eye bulb, the prostate, the testicals” or lymph nodes, he said. Given its focus on the inclusion of people with disabilities, what sparked the Ruderman Family Foundation’s interest in Discovering Hands is less the science behind breast cancer detection and more the program’s potential to employ visually impaired women. “I think [Discovering Hands] has a huge medical benefit for the community, but it also has a huge benefit for providing employment and inclusion for blind women,” Jay Ruderman said. “Losing your sight means that you retract yourself from public life, lose contact with your friends, lose your job. Many of them are reduced to the four walls of their own home,” Hoffmann said. “Taking part in aspects of other lives … connects them them intensively with patients. On the other hand, doing their job, they are real life savers.” In addition to learning anatomy and breast examination technique, women through Discovering Hands also learn communication and Braille technology skills so that “they can do their documentation on their own [and] don’t need another helping person with them when they are doing their job,” Hoffmann said. After six months of study and a final examination, the women undertake a threemonth internship at a clinic. According to Kim Charlson, director of the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Libraryat the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass., one challenge blind people discover when searching for employment is “the attitude of people who are sighted about the abilities of people who are blind.” She said some people think, “How could I do this job if I were blind? I couldn’t; therefore, the person must not be able to do that job.” “The women in this program are absolutely going to have that extra skillset because they know how to interpret what they detecting with their fingers, whether it’s Braille or if they’re looking for a tumor,” Charlson, who is blind herself, told “It’s a great opportunity to work in that kind of healthcare field where blind people can make a significant contribution in some way, and have a job, and pay taxes, and do all those things like everybody else does.”


Yisrael. Her passion for justice and true commitment to see a project through insures that she will certainly accomplish a lot in the political arena in the years ahead.â&#x20AC;? A native of Virginia who grew up in Milwaukee and moved to New York four years ago, Gursky is majoring in history and political science, while aso taking courses in Jewish history, mishlei (proverbs) and midrashic literature. Gursky said that she has â&#x20AC;&#x153;developed an understanding of the different neighborhoods of New York City and how essential everyone is to each other. My perspective is one that envisions a Far Rockaway where everyone can live together, safely, respectfully, and intelligently. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have also realized how important a mentor is â&#x20AC;&#x201D; how much I have beneďŹ ted from having a mentor, and how much someone else can beneďŹ t from having a good mentor.â&#x20AC;? The chairman of Touro Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s political science department, Dr. David Luchins, described Gursky as â&#x20AC;&#x153;a serious student with the zeal and passion for helping people and making a better world for everyone.â&#x20AC;?


By Malka Eisenberg A 19-year-old Far Rockaway woman, awakened to activist causes while attending Midreshet Shalhevet High School for Girls in North Woodmere, has been working political campaigns to make â&#x20AC;&#x153;a difference in the world, to change it for the better.â&#x20AC;? Shaina Gursky, a second year student at Touroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lander College for Women, is the youngest team leader in the mayoral bid of New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, working in the Rockaways and Broad Channel. Gursky, who last summer worked for Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, was recommended to de Blasioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s campaign by Goldfederâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chief of staff. She also worked on State Sen. Joseph P. Addabboâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s re-election campaign and for Pesach Osinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unsuccessful City Council bid against Donovan Richards. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shaina has always been sensitive to the needs of the community at large,â&#x20AC;? recalled Rabbi Zev Friedman, Rosh HaYeshiva. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While a student in Shalhevet, she was involved in the planning of all rallies on behalf of klal

THE JEWISH STAR October 18, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 14 CHESHVAN 5774

Local student channels activism into politics









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NOTICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING Revised Draft Environmental Assessment Runway 4L/22R Improvements Project John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, New York



In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), notice is hereby given that copies of a Revised Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Runway 4L/22R Improvements Project at John F. Kennedy International Airport are available for public review and at the following locations:



The Port Authority of NY & NJ John F. Kennedy International Airport General Managerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office Building 14, 2nd Floor Jamaica, NY 11430 Attn: Jerry Spampanato Hours: 08:00 am to 04:00 pm

.(7(56+(0729$:$5' 526/<1



*5($71(&. *5$'8$7(2)0,'5(6+(7$0,7

The Port Authority of NY & NJ Aviation Department Aviation Technical Services 225 Park Avenue South, 9th Floor New York, NY 10003 Attn: Edward Knoesel Hours: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm

The Revised Draft EA document for this project will be available at these locations until November 18, 2013. In addition, a copy of this document may be viewed online at: about/pdf/JFK-Runway-4L-22R-EA.pdf The EA responds to all of the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for preparation of an Environmental Assessment under NEPA and also documents compliance with Federal Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management. In accordance with NEPA, The Port Authority is inviting the Public to submit, in writing, comments on the Revised Draft Environmental Assessment prepared for the Runway 4L/22R Improvements Project at John F. Kennedy International Airport. This EA is a revision of the Draft EA that initially advertised for public comment in May, 2012. The Port Authority is accepting comment on this Revised Draft EA document until the official comment period for this document closes on November 18, 2013. Comments must be received by close of business on November 18, 2013 in order to be considered.

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Comments on this EA should be sent to: The Port Authority of NY & NJ, 225 Park Avenue South, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10003, Attn: Edward Knoesel.

PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING The Port Authority will hold a public information meeting to highlight modifications in the revised EA document. The meeting will be held on October 24 at St. Peterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Church at 7:30 p.m. in collaboration with Eastern Queens Alliance. The church is located at 224-04 147th Avenue, Queens, New York 11413.


In addition, comments may be emailed to with the subject heading â&#x20AC;&#x153;JFK RWY 4L-22R EA COMMENT.â&#x20AC;? If you have any questions on this notice please contact Edward Knoesel at address above.


October 18, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 14 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR



ativity with them. Alas, Daniel, had no interest in â&#x20AC;&#x153;the arts,â&#x20AC;? not even the magenta crayon. Although in high school, Jeremy came up with some pretty creative slogans and artwork for an advertising class and a computer graphics class, he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have much interest in spending time in the kitchen with me. Jordana, my youngest, was my last hope. Nope, no interest â&#x20AC;&#x201D; she wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even play with her make believe kitchen, a trait she carried over to the regular kitchen when she got older. I had to bribe Jordanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s friends to include me when they played with her make-believe kitchen, when they were over (while Jordana was in her brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jersey shooting hoops in the den). I would have done anything to have a kitchen like that when I was a kid. I had to make up for lost time. The closest I got was when Daniel had to do a â&#x20AC;&#x153;how toâ&#x20AC;? demonstration in eighth grade. He wanted to demonstrate how to decorate a chocolate praline mousse cake, my specialty. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Are you sure, Daniel?â&#x20AC;? I asked, â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty time consuming as it has a lot of steps.â&#x20AC;? He said it was no problem. I baked the layers, froze the mousse, whipped the whip cream, made the chocolate ganache and headed to school to â&#x20AC;&#x153;assistâ&#x20AC;? him. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just say I would love to have an assistant, as I was to him that day. He stood before the class and ďŹ lled them in on what he was going to teach them. He introduced me as his mom and assistant. His idea of an assistant was having me do everything and

I want to publicly apologize to you for not letting you or Daniel have anything to do with your mishkan project (it did come out absolutely beautiful though, didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it? I still remember you tugging at my skirt asking me if you could just do one little part of it. I realized at that moment that I had gotten carried away â&#x20AC;Ś and I let them print their names on the bottom. Below ďŹ nd an easy recipe to make with your kids or grandchildren, or for those of you who would like an easy yummy dessert.

Peanut Butter Pie just pointing to me, almost like Carol Merrill, the model who pointed out the prizes behind door 1, 2 or 3 on â&#x20AC;&#x153;Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Make a Deal.â&#x20AC;? Next came Jordana, who decided to bake and decorate a chocolate praline mousse cake for her dadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surprise 50th birthday kiddush that his friend was hosting for him. As I did with my son, I asked her if she was sure she wanted to do this speciďŹ c cake as itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time consuming and difďŹ cult to decorate. I love Jordana to pieces but her idea of doing laundry is taking it to the closest cleaners and her idea of preparing a gourmet dinner is Wacky Mac or a salad. I wanted to make sure she was up to the task. She said it would not be a problem for her and it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t â&#x20AC;&#x201D; because she didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do it, I did. This felt like when she was back in elementary school and I ended up doing her homework (yes, I know, I shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have, but it was easier than staying up all night making her do it). Which reminds me, Josh Lugar,

Ingredients 1 chocolate graham cracker or cookie pie crust 8 oz. cream cheese 1 c. peanut butter 1/2 c. granulated sugar 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed and whipped. I like to use the pareve ones as I feel they stay stiffer longer especially when mixed with other ingredients. It will still taste dairy as there is cream cheese in this pie as well. Garnish to your liking with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, shaved chocolate, nuts or anything else the little ones desire. Directions Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Blend in peanut butter and vanilla. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon mixture into prepared pie crust and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Have the kids decide on the garnish and let the fun begin!


s a child, I was creative. I loved coloring (always within the lines, of course) and took great care of my 64 count box of Crayola crayons (Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d get so upset if one of the crayon tips broke off in the sharpener and got stuck). My favorite color was magenta; to this day I use that word to describe any shade of maroon. I loved decorating cakes and cookies and spent hours on book report covers. Ok, so I spent half an hour on the report, but let me tell you, I was the only one in the class with a 3D cover. WHOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S IN THE I loved creating KITCHEN one-of-a-kind costumes for parties, baking and decorating what I thought of as pieces of art as opposed to food, and making parties for anyone, for any occasion. At my surprise 40th birthday party, my dearest â&#x20AC;&#x153;oldestâ&#x20AC;? friends from ďŹ rst grade and on â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Lynn, Lisa, Fay Judy Joszef and Henny â&#x20AC;&#x201D; read a â&#x20AC;&#x153;top ten list of things you can count on Judy for.â&#x20AC;? Number 1 was Judy making you a surprise party whether you wanted it or not. Number 2 was â&#x20AC;&#x153;Judy asking her husband if he planned on actually leaving the house dressed like THAT?!â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which has nothing to do with being creative and this article, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so me, I had to include it. I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait till my kids were old enough, so that I could share my love of cre-

THE JEWISH STAR October 18, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 14 CHESHVAN 5774

Playing in the kitchen? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as easy as pie!

Vayeira / â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tzachekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;? Yishmael did whaaaaat! move on Yitzchak, perhaps with the intent to kill (based on verses in Mishlei 26:1819). Rabbi Akiva compares our â&#x20AC;&#x153;mâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tzachekâ&#x20AC;? verb to the one used by Potipharâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wife in her accusing Yosef of trying to seduce her (based on Bereshit 39:17), while Rabbi Yishmael (ironically) suggests he was teaching Yitzchak about idolatry (comparing to the Golden Calf verse). Rabbi Eliezer (son of Rabbi Yosi Haglili) said â&#x20AC;&#x153;mâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tzachekâ&#x20AC;? refers to murder, as he compared it to Samuel II 2:14 (Pesikta Zutrasa). Onkelos said â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mtzachekâ&#x20AC;? means he was smiling. While Targum Yonatan suggests idolatry. Ibn Ezra suggests Sarah was jealous because Yishmael was bigger than her son. Radak says Yitzchak was an easy target because his parents were â&#x20AC;&#x153;old.â&#x20AC;? Ramban rejects a whole host of views and concludes that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all a question of inheritance. Yishmael was born as a result of Sarahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s graciousness in giving Hagar to Avraham. Now that she had borne Yitzchak and he was to inherit, Sarah did not want Yishmael to get too comfortable with Yitzchak â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to avoid ďŹ ghts in the future. (See also Rashbam and Midrash Sechel Tov.) Chizkuni felt that Yishmael was trying to play with Yitzchak in a mature, not age-

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birth of the inheritor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am the ďŹ rstborn,â&#x20AC;? thought Yishmael, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and I am obviously going to inherit the double portion that is my rite and entitlement â&#x20AC;&#x201D; everyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.â&#x20AC;? It is true that the possibilities abound, but the imperative question to address is how much of a thought process did Yishmael have? Was he so vindictive and evil? Or was he just a teenager? Was he â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a person who grew up in Avrahamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home â&#x20AC;&#x201D; really so troubled that he could engage in idolatry, murder, immorality? We raise our children and we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t agree with all of their choices. In some cases, their choices really trouble us. But there are some things which are so ingrained in their personalities that, barring a real psychological episode, we can be nearly 100 percent certain they will not be engaging in activities that are so against the very fabric of our essence and our nature as the Jewish people. May we merit to fulďŹ ll the positive sides of â&#x20AC;&#x153;mâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tzachekâ&#x20AC;? with our families and loved ones. And may the negative â&#x20AC;&#x153;mâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tzachekâ&#x20AC;? interpretations remain in the realm of homiletics and drash â&#x20AC;&#x201D; nice thought, but not a reďŹ&#x201A;ection of who we are. Amen.

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appropriate, way that Sarah viewed as a threat to her sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well-being. Seforno says Yishmael was making a mockery of the party Avraham had made in Yitzchakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s honor, including spreading the barnyard slander he had heard of people claiming Avimelekh was the father of the baby. This never bothered Sarah until she heard it from Yishmael, because before then she had been preoccupied with the birth and getting back to routine. The Malbim suggests that this is the reason why Sarah refers to him as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the son of Hagar the Egyptian,â&#x20AC;? as if to contrast him with her own son, who is clearly her son with Avraham. In an extreme interpretation, Rabbenu Bachya even suggests Yishmaelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mocking behavior warranted a death sentence, because a servant who mocks his master may be killed. From this perspective, the banishment was actually saving Yishmaelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. I personally prefer the approach of the Tosefta, even though Ramban rejects his speciďŹ c textual argument, because it looks at the context of what Sarah is saying, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Banish him because he will not inherit with my son, with Yitzchak.â&#x20AC;? The Tosefta suggests that Sarah saw the â&#x20AC;&#x153;mâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tzachekâ&#x20AC;? to be a mocking of everyone who was celebrating Yitzchakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s birth as the

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n all of the Torah, Yishmael and Yitzchak have one encounter. As the Torah describes Avraham making a party over Yitzchakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s weaning, it describes Sarahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s concern over what she witnessed: Yishmael was â&#x20AC;&#x153;mâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tzachekâ&#x20AC;? towards or with Yitzchak. What does â&#x20AC;&#x153;mâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tzachekâ&#x20AC;? mean? Avimelekh will later witness Yitzchak being â&#x20AC;&#x153;mâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tzachekâ&#x20AC;? his wife. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know of any commentary who views that as a negative act. Certainly in context, with everyone smiling and laughing over the birth of Yitzchak (the root PARSHA OF â&#x20AC;&#x153;tzchokâ&#x20AC;? appears ďŹ ve THE WEEK times in eight verses), one would think Yishmael is doing nothing out of the ordinary to Yitzchak. Midrash Aggada suggests he bent over and kissed him. This should be viewed as nothing more than an older brother kissing his cute little brother. Rabbi Avi Billet Until you read that the Midrash compares the â&#x20AC;&#x153;mâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tzachekâ&#x20AC;? verb to a similar one describing the lewd behavior surrounding the worship of the Golden Calf. (Why not compare it the word in the Yitzchak/Rivkah context?) Midrash also records the more well known opinion (made famous by Rashi) that Yishmael was pulling a â&#x20AC;&#x153;William Tellâ&#x20AC;?


October 18, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 14 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR

12 â&#x20AC;˘


Continued from page 1 who works closely with fifth-grade girls, discussing thoughts, actions and feelings about bullying, said that through the program she’s seen “tremendous growth … an awareness that was previously lacking for the students.” The program “opens up their hearts and minds to better understand the depth behind the feelings and emotions of those who bully and those being bullied, ultimately encouraging them to have control over their thoughts, feelings and actions in a healthy


way,” Jerozolim said. Yedlin said she hopes to expand the Upstander program to all grades in the Lower School. “If this program is successful, I’ll be working on adapting it for the younger students as well,” she said. “It’s my hope that through this program, they’ll learn to identify when bullying is taking place and take action to stop it.” The HAFTR Lower School, in Lawrence, comprises kindergarten through fifth grade. A version of this story originally appeared in the Nassau Herald.

Free clinic in Rockaways… Continued from page 1 volunteering their services, he said. Roberta Gettinger, a Woodmere resident who works at the RotaCare free clinic in Uniondale, consulted with Barth. “It’s fabulous,” Gettinger said. The stated mission of Doctors of the World (Médecins du Monde — MdM), is to “provide emergency and long-term medical care to vulnerable populations while fighting for equal access to healthcare worldwide.” They consider access to health care a human right and work to improve “access to quality medical services for populations affected by poverty, disease, conflict, natural

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disasters or health disparities … regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age or political beliefs.” Founded in Paris in 1980, the first group of doctors went to Afghanistan, El Salvador and Armenia. By 2012, they had more than 300 programs in 79 countries. The Rockaway clinic’s initial hours will be Thursdays from noon to 8 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. For information and an appointment call 718-634-4941. Interested volunteers, especially doctors, nurses and physician’s assistants, can contact



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Auctions GOOD & SERVICES Live Auction. Sat. Nov. 2, 8pm. Sports Memorabilia, Resort Vacation, Restaurant Gift Certificates. Congregation B'nai Sholom-Beth David, 100 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre. $10 includes refreshments. 516-764-4100.

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The Port Authority will hold a public information meeting to highlight modifications in the revised EA document. The meeting will be held on October 24th at St. Peter’s Church at 7:30 p.m. in collaboration with Eastern Queens Alliance. The church is located at 224-04 147th Avenue, Queens, New York 11413.

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AIRLINE CAREERS BEGIN here– Get FAA approved Aviation Maintenance Technician training. Financial aid for qualified students– Housing available. Job placement assistance. Call AIM 866-296-7093

Seeking Experienced Teacher for Hebrew School Position Modern Orthodox synagogue located in Merrick, NY is seeking a teacher with Day School or Hebrew School classroom teaching experience. Classes meet on Mondays & Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 pm, and Sundays 9:15-11:15 am. Please send your resume: E-mail: Fax: 516-867-6027

THE AMERICAN RED CROSS, one of the nation's most notable and highly respected non-profits, has two openings in their Long Island, NY office for Major Gift Officers. These are exciting and rewarding opportunities that are available due to continued growth and donor interest. The Major Gift Officer works with donors and prospects to meet annual revenue targets. Donations are used to advance the mission of the organization and assist donors in creating meaning in their lives through giving. If you have a minimum of 3 years of major gifts leadership experience and expertise with the area’s funding community, please consider joining hands with us. To view the job descriptions and apply on-line, please visit our website at: h t t p : / / w w w. a m e r i c a n r e d c r o s s . a p The Requisition numbers for these positions are CHAP37208 and CHAP33944. We offer employees career growth and development, a team spirit environment, competitive salaries, generous paidtime-off, and a comprehensive benefits package. The American Red Cross is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer M/F/D/V

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THE JEWISH STAR October 18, 2013 • 14 CHESHVAN 5774

HAFTR leads on bullying…

October 18, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 14 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. ognized 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.



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.

$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.

%DNLQJFKDOODK Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Circle challah baking class. Chabad of Roslyn. 7:30 pm. For location and RSVP, call Chaya 845-642-7401.



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

/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) 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.

BBB 6XQGD\2FW 8SSHU:HVW6LGHWRXU 92nd Street Y presents a walking tour of Manhattanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jewish Upper West Side. 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.

/DZUHQFHVKUHGGHUV Sanitary District No. 1 brings its high-capacity shredder truck to 2 Bay Blvd. (behind Costco) for a day of free shredding. Open to all district residents, non-commercial purposes only. 10 am to 1 pm. Visit

:+HPSVWHDGFRQFHUW Gala concert at the Jewish Center of West Hempstead. Piano compositions by Debussy, Chopin, Pinto, Mozart; vocal works consisting of operatic selections, Hebrew and Yiddish Melodies; 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. Call Fran Welner, 516-485-1682.

7XHVGD\2FW :RPHQRQO\ Rebbetzin Weinbergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shiur for women resumes today. 11 am. Aish Kodesh, 894 Woodmere Place, Woodmere. 516-374-8596.

(WKLFVIRUWHHQV Teens will consider, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Is It Legit? Steering Your Way Through Everyday Ethical Dilemmas.â&#x20AC;? Six Tuesday course begins 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 516-484-3500.8596.


explores the meaning of anti-Zionism. Historically, it manifested itself in many different forms and among a wide range of groups including Christians, Muslims, assimilationist Jews, Reform Jews and ultra-Orthodox Jews. Free. 8:15 pm. Young Israel of Woodmere, 859 Peninsula Blvd., Woodmere.

:HGQHVGD\2FW 7RUDK.DEEDODK6FLHQFH Rabbi Shmuel Klatzkin, Ph.D.. explores, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Torah, Kabbalah and Science: ConďŹ&#x201A;ict or 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.

-XGDLVPDQGPRGHUQLW\ 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.

7KXUVGD\2FW )DUEUHQJHQDW7&KDEDG Five Towns Chabad marks the birthday of the Rebbe Rashad. Men only. 8:15 pm. 74 Maple Ave., Cedarhurst. 516-295-2478.

6DWXUGD\2FW .LGV¡SLQJSRQJ Tournament at Young Israel of North Woodmere. $25 entry. To enter, email PingPong@ 634 Hungry Harbor Road.



Weekly series with Rabbi Evan Hoffman of Congregation Anshe Sholom in New Rochell


Five Towns Table Tennis Tournament. Round 1, 1 to 3 pm. Championship match 5 pm. $35 entry. To enter, email 634 Hungry Harbor Road.

7XHVGD\2FW 7KH0DWULDUFKV 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

:HGQHVGD\2FW )LGGOHU¡VURXWHWRKLVURRI 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.

6DWXUGD\1RY 0XVLFRQQG6W 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 rec-

0RQGD\1RY (OHFWLRQHYH 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:


6DWXUGD\1RY /HVVRQLQGHFHSWLRQ Scholar in Residence at Congregation Beth Shalom: Rabbi David Fohrman, senior editor and writer for ArtScrollâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Schottenstein edition of the Talmud, formerly a teacher of Biblical themes at Johns Hopkins University, and author of â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Beast that Crouches at the Door.â&#x20AC;? Drasha, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yakov & Esau: How to teach a story of deception to your children,â&#x20AC;? 11 am. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Jewish Voldemort? Acher: The Rabbi Who Would Not be Named,â&#x20AC;? 4 pm. 390 Broadway, Lawrence. 516-569-3600.

0RQGD\1RY &KDQXNDKPDOO Annual event featuring vendors, rafďŹ&#x201A;es and delicious food deďŹ es Hurricane Sandyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrath. 6:30â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9:30 pm. Young Israel of Long Beach, 120 Long Beach Blvd. Ilana Austin, 516-8973025.

7XHVGD\'HF 7KH0DWULDUFKV Discussion of our Matriarchs continues with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rachel and Leah: Two Sisters, Two Wives, One Husband,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




THE JEWISH STAR October 18, 2013 • 14 CHESHVAN 5774


of the


Regional Hospitals in the NY Metro Region...

High-Performing Specialties.

We’re commited to meeting the needs of the Jewish Community: Winthrop-University Hospital has a Shabbos & Yom Tov House, a kosher home where families of patients may stay during the Shabbos Festivals and High Holy Days. Glatt Kosher food is available in the coffee shop located in the main lobby of the hospital. Shabbos candles and kosher refrigerators are available to patients. Mincha minyan services are held in the hospital chapel, Monday through Thursday at 1:30 pm. Siddurim and benchers are available in the chapel. A shabbos elevator is located in the North Pavilion of the hospital. Rabbi A. Perl of Congregation Beth Sholom Chabad is available to meet any religious needs patients and their families may have. He may be contacted at 516-739-3636. The Synagogue is located

259 First Street, Mineola, New York 11501 • 1.866.WINTHROP •


0.57 miles from the hospital within the eruv.

October 18, 2013 â&#x20AC;¢ 14 CHESHVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR


/RFDO$FFHVV ^ to world-class care `





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October 18, 2013  

The Jewish Star October 18, 2013

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