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Miketz, Shabbos Mevarchim • Friday, December 15, 2017 • 27 Kislev 5778 • Five Towns candlelighting 4:10 pm • Torah columns pages 18 – 19 • Vol 16, No 47

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‫אם אשכחך ירושלים תשכח ימיני‬ Inside The Star: Full coverage of the president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.

Israeli and American flags were projected on an Old City wall last Wednesday night, after President Trump announced U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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Rav Shteinman, z”tl, giant of Torah Jewry Hundreds of thousands of mourners attended the levaya on Tuesday of Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, leader of the non-Hasidic Lithuanian haredi community, who died at the age of 104. Rav Shteinman, considered the gadol hador — greatest sage — of his generation, died Tuesday morning of cardiac arrest after being in and out of the hospital for much of the last

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Hundreds of thousands of people attended the levaya of Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman in Bnei Brak.

year. The levaya later that day began in front of his home in Bnei Brak. There were no eulogies in response to a request that the rav put in his will. He also asked that his followers not name their children after him. Israel President Reuven Rivlin said Rav Shteinman had “carried the entire weight of the existence of the Jewish people on his shoulders.” See Shteinman on page 7


ZOA: Smashing the Muslim-Jerusalem myth and even contemplated entirely destroying the city before leaving it. In 1948, six Arab nations invaded Israel, and Jordan captured and illegally occupied the eastern portion of Jerusalem for 19 years (1948 to 1967). During Jordan’s illegal occupation, Jordan demolished 58 centuries-old Jewish synagogues, killed or expelled the Jews, pillaged tombstones of the 3,000-years-old Mount of Olives Jewish cemetery to line latrines and build roads, denied Jews access to their holiest religious sites, and harshly discriminated against Christians and churches. Jordan prohibited Christian churches and communities from buying land or opening new schools, required Christian schools to teach the Koran, and refused to allow Christian holidays. Under Jordanian Arab Muslim rule, Jerusalem became a small isolated town. Arabs abandoned Jerusalem and moved to Amman. Significantly, neither the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)’s original National Charter (drafted in 1964, during Jordanian Muslim rule), nor the PLO’s 1968 National Charter, nor the Fatah (Arafat’s terrorist group) Constitution even mention Jerusalem, let alone call for its establishment as a Palestinian Arab capital. During Jordan’s 19-year illegal occupation of Jerusalem, Jordan also kept its capital in Amman, built Jordan’s first university in Amman, as well as the King’s numerous residences, and made its Friday prayer radio broadcasts from Amman – not from Jerusalem. Arab leaders did not even bother visiting Jerusalem (with the brief exception of King Hussein). Jordan allowed eastern Jerusalem to fall into disrepair — to become a slum, with virtually no water or plumbing or electricity. This is of course not how an Islamic nation would treat a city that was really holy to Islam. Tellingly, in the not-so-distant past, Muslims recognized the Temple Mount as the site of the biblical Jewish temples. Thus, See Muslim-Jerusalem myth on page 7

By Morton A. Klein, National President Zionist Organization of America

It’s time to end the propaganda myth that Jerusalem is holy to Muslims. Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish nation under King David and other Jewish kings for hundreds of years. The U.S. Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 stated: “In 1996, the State of Israel will celebrate the 3,000th anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King David’s entry.” Jerusalem was never the capital of any other nation. After the Arab conquest of Israel in 716 CE, the Arabs made Ramla their capital, not Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the Jewish people’s holiest city. Jerusalem’s Old City (in the eastern portion of Jerusalem, the real Jerusalem — Western Jerusalem was built in recent years) contains the millennia old Jewish quarter and Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, where the first and second Jewish Temples stood, long before the birth of Islam. And eastern Jerusalem also contains the world’s oldest and largest (3,000-years-old) Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives. Jerusalem is mentioned almost 700 times in the Torah, the Jewish holy books. Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran — not even once. Throughout the millennia, Jews have been praying for Jerusalem 20 times each day, remembering Jerusalem in holiday and wedding ceremonies, and praying facing Jerusalem. By contrast, Muslims pray facing Mecca. There are no Muslim prayers for Jerusalem. Significantly, neither the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)’s original National Charter (drafted in 1964, during Jordanian Muslim rule), nor the PLO’s 1968 National Charter, nor the Fatah (Yasser Arafat’s terrorist group) Constitution even mention Jerusalem, let alone call for its establishment as a Palestinian Arab capital. Muslims make their pilgrimages to Mecca, while Jewish pilgrimages are to Jerusalem. One of the five pillars of Islam (the five obligatory fundamental Muslim practices) is the “Hajj” pilgrimage to the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Torah commands the Jewish people to make pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem three times each year, on Judaism’s three pilgrimage festivals (Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot). Jews have lived in Jerusalem throughout the millennia. Since at least the mid-1800s, the majority of the people living in Jerusalem were Jews. Theodore Herzl wrote in his diary about his arrival

Jews pray at the Western Wall, circa 1880.

Jerusalem is mentioned almost 700 times in the Torah. It is never mentioned in the Koran.

Félix Bonfils via WikiCommons

in Jerusalem on the evening of Oct. 31, 1898: “The streets were alive with Jews sauntering in the moonlight.” The 1907 prestigious Baedekers’ Travel Guide reported that at that time, Jerusalem had 40,000 Jews; 13,000 Christians and 7,000 Muslims. In an attempt to create an Islamic religious connection to Jerusalem, Muslims point to Koran and hadith passages referring to Muhammad’s dream (not an actual event) of journeying to heaven on his steed Buraq from “Al Aqsa” — the “farthest mosque.” However, the “farthest mosque” could not possibly have meant Jerusalem because the Koran refers to Palestine as the “nearest” place, and Jerusalem was a central crossroads in the Middle East — not a “farthest” place. Moreover, Jerusalem’s “Al Aqsa Mosque” was built long after the Koran and the Hadith were written. The mosque was named Al Aqsa after the fact, to create a myth about the location of Mohammed’s dream. During Mohammed’s day, Jerusalem was ruled by Byzantine Christians, and a Byzantine Christian church stood on the Temple Mount. So little did Jerusalem mean to the Muslim Ottomans that, during the First World War, they abandoned it to the British without a fight

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Full text of President Trump’s Jerusalem speech As delivered on Dec. 6, 2017 hen I came into office, I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking. We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. All challenges demand new approaches. My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act urging the federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city, and so importantly, is Israel’s capital. This act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was reaffirmed by unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago. Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result. Therefore I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering. I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement. srael is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this is a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace. It was 70 years ago that the United States under President Truman recognized the state of Israel. Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem, the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times. Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset; as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the prime minister and the president. It is the headquarters of many government ministries. For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of state and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year. Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now

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the Palestinians. We are not taking a position of any final status issues including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved. The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement. Without question, Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks. The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides. In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif. Above all, our greatest hope is for peace, the universal yearning in every human soul. ith today’s action, I reaffirm my administration’s longstanding commitment to a future of peace and security for the region. There will, of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and cooperation. This sacred city should call forth the best in humanity, lifting our sights to what is possible, not pulling us back and down to the old fights that have become so totally predictable. Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach it. So today we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate. Our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts. I repeat the message I delivered at the historic and extraordinary summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this year: The Middle East is a region rich with culture, spirit, and history. Its people are brilliant, proud and diverse. Vibrant and strong. But the incredible future awaiting this region is held at bay by bloodshed, ignorance and terror. Vice President Pence will travel to the region in the coming days to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations. It is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midsts. It is time for all civilized nations and people to respond to disagreement with reasoned debate, not violence. And it is time for young and moderate voices all across the Middle East to claim for themselves a bright and beautiful future. So today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities. And finally, I ask the leaders of the region, political and religious, Israeli and Palestinian, Jewish and Christian and Muslim, to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace. Thank you. G-d bless you. G-d bless Israel. G-d bless the Palestinians and G-d bless the United States.

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President Donald Trump delivers his Jerusalem speech from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on Dec. 6, as Vice Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images President Mike Pence looks on. also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims and Christians and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs. Jerusalem is today and must remain a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at Al Aqsa mosque. However, through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all. But today we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done. That is why consistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers and planners so that a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace. In making these announcements, I also want to make one point very clear. This decision is not intended in any way to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for

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Wishing all a Freilichen Chanukah. May the light illuminating from the menorah be a light of happiness and may the story of the Chanukah give us all hope and inspiration throughout the year.


Rabbi Shteinman, z”tl, humble giant of Torah By Rabbi Shraga Simmons, co-founder of AISH Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman, the leader of Torah Jewry, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 104. Hundreds of thousands of mourners attended his levya (see page 1). Visiting the small apartment on Chazon Ish Street in Bnei Brak, one could be excused from failing to identify this as the home of a global leader. Stucco-cement, simple plastered walls, unfinished wood cabinets — and rows of floorto-ceiling bookshelves filled with Torah commentaries. Yet here, in an office that doubled as his bedroom, Rabbi Shteinman received visitors from every stream of Jewish life — educators seeking guidance on curriculum; politicians formulating key legislation; schoolchildren tested on their studies. The door to his home was always open. No problem nothing was too trivial for him, and people came from around the world to line up outside his door – sometimes waiting hours – to speak with him. Legend has former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak jumping through the window to bypass the crowds. Rabbi Shteinman authored 15 volumes of commentaries on the Talmud, plus a series on the Five Books of Moses, all under the title Ayelet Hashachar. He was a highly-sought expert on education, and author of “Leading with Love: Guidance for Our Generation.” Sage Advice Rabbi Shteinman was born in 1913 near the Polish-Lithuanian border. Just prior to World War Two and faced with forced induction into the Polish Army, he fled to Switzerland. He eventually landed in a refugee labor camp, and was the only member of his family to survive the war; both his parents, and all five brothers, were killed during the Holocaust. He arrived in Israel in the early 1950s, and for six decades slept on the original plank-board

and thin mattress issued by the Jewish Agency. For the next six decades, he led various Torah institutions, including Gaon Yaakov, the yeshiva he founded in Bnei Brak. Following the death of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv in 2012, Rabbi Shteinman assumed the title of Gadol Hador, widely acknowledged as the final word in Torah Jewry. In this role he influenced hundreds of thousands of Jews through teaching, direct counsel, and public policy. Rabbi Shteinman had a vastly broad perspective that comes from living across multiple generations and traveling the world. But his most important asset was having plumbed the depths of millennia of Jewish wisdom – which he then extracted expert on everything from education to parenting, diplomacy to spirituality. A few years ago, when I was publicizing the dangers of nuclear Iran, I consulted with Rabbi Shteinman. While supporting my efforts, he cautioned on one point: “Avoid direct personal attacks on Iranian leaders,” he said. “There is some evidence in our history — whether the biblical Esav, or the early days of Hitler — that one must be careful not to agitate a personal confrontation.” I left the meeting in stunned silence. Here was a frail old man, sitting on a hard bench, and illuminating a sensitive diplomatic issue — referencing not only the Torah-based paradigm for dealing with foreign enemies, but also evidence in his lifetime that certain anti-Nazi protests may have been used to “justify” actions against the Jews. When my youngest son was born, Rabbi Shteinman graciously agreed to be Sandek, holding the baby for the circumcision covenant. Torah Leadership In contrast to the Western style of choosing leaders — often a self-aggrandizing popularity contest between egocentrics — Rabbi Shteinman was chosen with no elections, campaigning, or brash publicity antics. He became leader based on his deep humility, compassion, respect

for G-d, and commitment to serve — without thought to personal compensation or glorification. He served with no salary, no palatial office, no private jet, and no term of office, maintaining his position solely on the people’s trust. When it came to Torah study, Rabbi Shteinman was a purist. He defined “yeshiva” as not simply as a place for high-level Torah study, but as a safe haven free of forces antithetical to Torah. Particularly in the digital age, where negative influence is impervious to physical barriers, he believed that the best protection is unswerving commitment to Torah values. Rabbi Shteinman was known as a moderate. He backed the idea of Nachal Charedi, providing a path for yeshiva students to serve in the Israeli army. For this Rabbi Shteinman took some heat, and for years courageously stood up to criticism. Rabbi Shteinman instituted a poli-

cy of “no child left behind,” starting schools for less-talented children, children of immigrants, and others at risk. And he increased Torah influence in Israel by approving the inclusion of a charedi minister in Israel’s cabinet. … Travels In 2005, Rabbi Shteinman announced he was travelling the world to strengthen those Jewish communities geographically removed from the great Torah centers. He did so out of a great sense of responsibility, in keeping with the important Jewish tradition of leaders “travelling from place to place” (Midrash – Eliyahu Rabba 11). Though his students and doctor tried to dissuade this arduous trek, Rabbi Shteinman replied: “It is not up to the doctor. It’s up to G-d, and if He wants it, nothing is too difficult.” Rabbi Shteinman’s iron will prevailed over his frail body, and these trips continued — to Mexico City, Los Angeles, Montreal, Buenos Aires, Berlin — until his 100th birthday. On these travels, the frail Rabbi Shteinman would sometimes visit four cities and deliver 10 speeches — in one day! Once, after collapsing from exhaustion, and in the face of doctors’ orders to cancel the rest of his trip, Rabbi Shteinman declared: “As long as G-d allows me, I will continue what I came to do.” In Lakewood, 15,000 people came to greet Rabbi Shteinman. When he visited Gibraltar, a Jewish community that numbers just 600 to 700 people showed up to see the rabbi. The community declared a holiday and all Jewish businesses closed down. If a Torah scroll is welcomed with great fanfare, they reasoned, all the more should we honor a living Torah. During his trip to Ukraine, the streets surrounding the synagogue were filled with hundreds of people at 4:30 am, hurrying to join Rabbi Shteinman’s sunrise service. The rabbi’s ability to generate such enthusiasm in a comSee Giant on page 7

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Shteinman… Muslim-Jerusalem myth...

Continued from page 6 munity that not long ago had trouble putting together a minyan. In preparing for his first foreign excursion, Rabbi Shteinman had to choose between two candidates to accompany him. He asked each to describe their motivation for travelling abroad. One said he wanted to witness huge crowds honoring Rabbi Shteinman and the Torah. The other candidate said his main motivation was sight-seeing. Rabbi Shteinman chose the second person — though his motivation was less “lofty,” Rabbi Shteinman felt he was being more honest. On a visit to the United States, Rabbi Shteinman was asked why America, alone among the great historical powers, had been largely spared foreign invasion. He ascribed it to an ethos of kindness and compassion (Malchut Shel Chesed) which, he added, is America’s best shield moving forward. With his inspiring global travels, Rabbi Shteinman fulfilled the words of Rabbeinu Yona (Sha’arey Teshuva 3:147) describing the effect of greeting Torah leaders: “Sleeping hearts will reawaken when they see the splendor of honoring Torah and recognize its grandeur. This will cause a great thirst for Torah, and desire to serve G-d wholeheartedly.” Indeed, the people of one community formed a group to undertake communal projects which had been previously rejected as too difficult or time-consuming. “If Rabbi Shteinman can do it, so can we,” they said. Living on a Miracle Not long ago, a young doctor said to Rabbi Shteinman: “You’re living on a miracle.” Nonplussed, the rabbi replied: “You are also living on a miracle.” This is how Rabbi Shteinman lived: placing all his trust in G-d, and seeing clear that the future of the Jewish people was predicated on Torah. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that Rabbi Shteinman “bore the entire weight of the Jewish people’s existence on his shoulders. … Despite his firm positions, he knew how to convey his ideas gently, in a pleasant manner, and with a great love of the Jewish people. ... He was a man whose wisdom was exceeded only by his humility.” Rabbi Shteinman inspired an entire nation that we are truly a “nation of priests and a holy nation.” It is now our obligation, to honor Rabbi Shteinman’s memory, by living up to those responsibilities.

uge by the Jews at the time of the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70 A.D.” (After 1954, all such references to the biblical Temples were excised from this publication.) Mideast scholar Prof. Francis Peters of NYU said that Muslims have always regarded Jerusalem “with careless indifference.” There has never even been an important place of Muslim learning built or established there. However, Leon Uris, famed author of “Exodus” wrote, “Jerusalem has known only two periods of true greatness and these have been separated by 2000 years. Greatness has only happened under Jewish rule … Jews have remained constant in their love throughout the centuries. It is the longest and deepest love affair in the history of the world.” It’s only by the reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli rule since 1967 that the city has been

revitalized, enjoyed stunning growth, and finally enjoys full freedom of religion and access to holy sites for people of every faith. This would be threatened by its re-division, as is already obvious in the massive Christian exodus from Palestinian Arab controlled Gaza and Bethlehem. Whatever form a final peace deal may one day take, there is no morally just, religiously or factually based, or legally sound reason to dignify the falsified, fabricated Muslim claims to Jerusalem. The fabrication that Jerusalem is holy to Islam impedes peace, instigates bloodshed, promotes a historic lie, and denies Judaism’s religious, historic and legal rights. It’s time to set the record straight. This useful recap was originally published by ZOA earlier this year. Clip it now and send to any uninformed friends and colleagues.

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Continued from page 2 the Jerusalem Muslim Supreme Council’s publication, ‘A Brief Guide to the Haram Al-Sharif’ (1925 edition, page 4), states about Jerusalem’s Temple Mount: “Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to the universal belief, on which ‘David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings’.” (The quotation is from 2 Samuel 24:25.) The same Muslim publication notes on page 16: “In the west wall of the chamber, a door opens into a staircase descending to Solomon’s stables. This is a vast subterranean chamber. … It dates probably as far back as the construction of Solomon’s Temple. According to Josephus, it was in existence and was used as a place of ref-

THE JEWISH STAR December 15, 2017 • 27 Kislev 5778

Continued from page 1 “He was a person whose wisdom was second only to his humility,” Rivlin said. Rabbi Shteinman resided in a small furnished apartment for his entire adult life and held few public positions. He requested a simple burial plot, explaining, “My place in the cemetery is next to regular people.” He asked that no titles be written on his headstone, which should be “the cheapest and simplest” one available. The RCA referred to Rabbi Shteinman as “one of the 20th and 21st century’s most widely respected decisors of Jewish law and one of the great communal leaders.” He “was universally respected for his erudition and insights,” said RCA President, Rabbi Elazar Muskin. “He served as a leader whose advice and guidance in all matters of Jewish law and public policy were sought. His presence and inspiration will be sorely missed.” The OU said he was a “guiding force impacting the lives of untold numbers of Jews in Israel and around the world. We have lost a leader who was a paragon of humility, simplicity, and passion for Torah and his inspiration will live long beyond his years.” “With the death of Rabbi Shteinman, the Jewish people lost a central beacon of spirit, heritage and morality,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. “He was an important link in the chain of Torah which spans millennia.” —Reporting from JTA and other sources —See “humble giant” on page 6

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Major Jewish groups cheer president on J’salem Here are excerpts from statements by some of America’s major Jewish organizations, expressing enthusiasm for President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement. Agudath Israel of America Israel is a sovereign state. Sovereign states have every right to determine where their capitals are. Israel has designated Jerusalem as its capital. Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s national government. Yet nations of the world refuse to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This is nothing less than a travesty. The United States is Israel’s closest ally. For years its political leaders have acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Indeed, in 1995 Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which explicitly establishes the position of the United States that “Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the state of Israel,” and requires that the American embassy in Israel be moved to Jerusalem. President Trump’s welcome announcement today reaffirms that longstanding commitment, and deserves to be warmly commended. To us, as believing Jews, the special status of Jerusalem is not dependent upon the formal recognition of governments or the nations of the world. To us, Yerushalayim is the ir hakodesh, the holy city, the place where the Holy Temples stood thousands of years ago, the place that has been in the prayers and hearts of the Jewish people wherever they may have been through their long years of exile, the place that has been our glorious history and will forever remain our ultimate destiny. Orthodox Union The [OU] applauded President Donald Trump for his historic change of U.S. government policy toward the status of Jerusalem, the ancient and current capital of Israel and the Jewish people. Over 3,000 years ago, King David constructed the holy city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. For millennia, Jews around the world directed their prayers toward Jerusalem and prayed to return to Jerusalem. Indeed, the prayer to return to Jerusalem is invoked at the conclusions of the sacred Yom Kippur service and the Passover Seder. … Sadly, and from our perspective wrongly, the international community has ignored the history of Jerusalem and its centrality in the lives and faith of the Jewish people. Moreover, the responsible stewardship for the holy city provided by the state of Israel is largely ignored. In 1995, the United States Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act. … While Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama each pledged to implement this commitment, none of them did. Today, President Trump began to fulfill this promise. Executive Vice President Allen Fagin stated: “…We applaud President Trump for his historic announcement and for beginning the process of relocating the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.” President Mark (Moishe) Bane stated: “We commend President Trump for doing what is not just the right thing to do, but what is actually the common sense thing to do — to have America’s embassy in the chosen capital city of a close ally, the state of Israel.” Nathan J. Diament, director of public policy for the OU, stated: “We believe this announcement by President Trump is not only the right thing to do with regard to Jerusalem, it is the right thing to do for those who hope for a long-term arrangement for peace and security in the region.” Hadassah Statement by Hadassah National President Ellen Hershkin: We applaud the U.S. administration for its historic recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel for the first time in seven decades. Hadassah has always viewed Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel, and reaffirms its unwavering support for a united Jerusalem. All democracies have the ability to choose their own capital, and so too must Israel. Its government buildings including the Knesset and the Supreme Court have been located in the city of Jerusalem since the country declared its independence in 1948.

Tourists enter the Kotel plaza, as Jews pray at the holy site.

Historically and politically, spiritually and culturally, Jerusalem represents the heart and soul of the Jewish people. Our two hospital campuses lie within the holy city, and have transcended politics for nearly 100 years by offering top notch medical care to anyone in need regardless of religion, race or national origin. Only under Israeli sovereignty has Jerusalem and its religious sites been open to all people. Hadassah Medical Organization has served, and will continue to serve as a beacon of peace in the region. … We applaud the recognition of the city we hold so dear, and continue to advocate for a peaceful solution where all can live in safety and security. Conference of Presidents Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Malcolm Hoenlein issued the following statement: The Conference of Presidents is gratified that its decades-long policy calling for U.S. recognition of Israel’s capital in Jerusalem has now been realized. In the 50 years since Israel reunified Jerusalem, it has demonstrated an enduring commitment, enshrined in Israeli law, to protect Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites and to assure freedom of access to them for worshippers of all faiths. … For nearly 3,500 years, the Jewish people have maintained an indivisible bond to Jerusalem. It is truly fitting that President Trump has taken this step just days before Jews all over the world begin celebrating the festival of Chanukkah marking the return of Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem and the rededication of the Temple, the holiest site in Judaism, more than 2,000 years ago. U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel also sends a strong message to the international community that attempts in the UN to erase the Jewish connection to Jerusalem are counterproductive and will not succeed. Rabbinical Council of America Rabbi Elazar Muskin, president of the RCA, stated, “Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people since King David built his palace there and King Solomon brought the Holy Temple to Mount Moriah, and for the past 68 years, the state of Israel has considered Jerusalem as its capital. We express our appreciation to the president and his administration for this recogni-

The Jewish Star / Ed Weintrob

tion as well as for their staunch support for the state of Israel, a bipartisan tradition in the US for many decades. We call upon the nations of the world follow this example and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.” Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, vice president of the RCA, stated, “As religious leaders we pray that Jerusalem, the City of Peace, will live up to its name and that people of good intentions and good will use this opportunity to join together to promote stability and harmony in the holy city of Jerusalem where religious freedom and access to holy sites is granted to all its inhabitants.” AIPAC AIPAC has always supported American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital city, and we commend President Trump’s momentous announcement and decision to initiate relocating the U.S. embassy there. This recognition is a long-overdue step to implement U.S. law. … Importantly, relocating the embassy to Jerusalem does not in any way prejudge the outcome of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, to include establishing two states for two peoples and resolving Palestinian claims to the eastern portion of the city and the disposition of holy places. Rather, this announcement acknowledges that Jerusalem will continue to be Israel’s capital as part of any conceivable final status agreement. The Jewish people have maintained a constant presence in Jerusalem, their holiest city, for more than 3,000 years. Israel declared the city its capital following its reestablishment in 1948. When the United States ultimately relocates its embassy to Jerusalem, it will treat Israel as it does every other country with which we have diplomatic relations. Today’s action by President Trump is an important, historic step for which we are grateful. We urge the president to quickly relocate our embassy to Israel’s capital. One Israel Fund One Israel Fund is beyond thankful to President Trump for the official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The movement of the US embassy to Jerusalem legitimizes the 3,000-yearold truth! In keeping his promise to establish Jerusalem as the official capital, the ties between Israel and America are even stronger. We are excited about these next steps towards peace.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks I welcome today’s decision by the United States to recognize as the capital of Israel, Jerusalem, whose name means “city of peace.” This recognition is an essential element in any lasting peace in the region. Unlike other guardians of the city, from the Romans to the Crusaders to Jordan between 1949 and 1967, Israel has protected the holy sites of all three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and guaranteed access to them. Today, Jerusalem remains one of the few places in the Middle East where Jews, Christians and Muslims are able to pray in freedom, security and peace. The sustained denial, in many parts of the world, of the Jewish connection with Jerusalem is dishonest, unacceptable and a key element in the refusal to recognise the Jewish people’s right to exist in the land of their origins. Mentioned over 660 times in the Hebrew Bible, Jerusalem was the beating heart of Jewish faith more than a thousand years before the birth of Christianity, and two-and-a-half millennia before the birth of Islam. Since then, though dispersed around the world, Jews never ceased to pray about Jerusalem, face Jerusalem, speak the language of Jerusalem, remember it at every wedding they celebrated, in every home they built, and at the high and holiest moments of the Jewish year. Outside the United Nations building in New York is a wall bearing the famous words of Isaiah: “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Too often the nations of the world forget the words that immediately precede these: “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Those words, spoken 27 centuries ago, remain the greatest of all prayers for peace, and they remain humanity’s best hope for peace in the Middle East and the world. Zionist Organization of America head Mort Klein told Jewish Insider, “I am pleased that after 22 long years since the embassy bill passed that Trump is … recognizing the obvious [but] I am disappointed that he is signing a waiver. I would have preferred he take the existing consulate or another government-owned building, put a sign on it and say this is the embassy, immediately.” Simon Wiesenthal Center said that with his announcement, President Trump “will right a historic wrong.” International Fellowship of Christians and Jews founder and president Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein called the announcement “a bold, courageous move that is long overdue, and is especially significant coming from Israel’s closest ally. Both Jews and Christians around the world have prayed for this day, which rights a historic wrong by affirming to the world that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people.” American Jewish Committee Chief Executive Officer David Harris said, “By stating the truth of Jerusalem’s status as the capital of the state of Israel, President Trump has asserted U.S. global leadership towards ending a longstanding, senseless anomaly.” Anti-Defamation League called the move a “significant step … important and long overdue,” coming at a time “when international organizations and other detractors delegitimize the Jewish state and deny any Jewish connection to the holy city.” The Republican Jewish Coalition praised the president for his announcement. “President Trump is doing what he does so well: recognizing the reality on the ground. No more false news — Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” Norm Coleman, the RJC’s national chairman and a former Minnesota senator, said in a statement. The RJC ran a full-page ad in Thursday’s edition of the New York Times thanking President Trump for his decision.


9 THE JEWISH STAR December 15, 2017 • 27 Kislev 5778

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This is excerpted from a post by David Kaufman, spiritual leader of Temple B’nai Jeshurun, the Reform synagogue in Des Moines, Iowa. avid Ben Gurion declared Jerusalem to be the “eternal capital” in 1949, the Israeli Knesset has been meeting in Jerusalem since 1950, and Jerusalem is where Israel’s prime minister resides. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. It is an utter absurdity to dispute that. So why has it taken 68 years for America to officially recognize that fact?… One could argue that perhaps this week wasn’t the best week for recognition to come or that perhaps it is happening now because of other things in the news cycle. Many do not like anything that President Trump says or does and therefore immediately seek to condemn any and every action taken. But friends, when there were better times, if there truly ever were better times for this to happen, it did not. President after president essentially said, “We accept the delusion” or “We will continue to force the Israelis to accept the delusion.” And the result of that acceptance was the acceptance of anti-Semitism, of allowing only the Jewish state of all nations in the world to be prohibited from declaring its capital, of expressly avoiding having ambassadors residing where its national institutions and leadership have resided for decades, of listing events with the leadership of the Jewish state, including at its national legislature or its major national cemetery, as taking place in “Jerusalem,” without including the name of the nation or even worse, including the name of the nation, Israel, with “Israel” crossed out or blacked out. Some are now arguing that recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital should have come in exchange for something that we wanted as a concession, that we should have held our recognition of reality as ransom in order to blackmail Israel into making policy changes. If friends don’t let friends drive drunk, they sure as hell don’t blackmail them. Somehow, too many nations got into a mindset where reality was irrelevant or to be held hostage to hostile delusions. Did no one ask how

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With nod to Israel and to truth, Reform voice backs J’salem move any peace process could even take place with one side holding to reality and the other to delusions? Did no one ask how any peace process could take place with one side demanding that everyone else accept their delusions as fact in the negotiations? his is merely the first delusional domino of many to fall. No negotiations can be based on delusions. They cannot be based on “what might have been true if…” or on unreasonable possibilities. They must always be based upon what is, with the understanding that the parameters of the negotiations will change if they wait too long. What was possible and reasonable in 1947, 1949, 1966, 1967, 1973, 1993, 2001, 2007, 2014, and 2016 may not be possible, realistically is assuredly not possible, in 2017 or 2018. Meanwhile, this president made certain to note that the exact boundaries of Jerusalem are up for negotiation and that nothing precludes Jerusalem, or some portion of it, from also being the capital of a future Palestinian state. He stated in his declaration: “We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved.” There are certainly things that this president has said and done with which many of us take significant issue. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital should not be one of them. If indeed one argues that said recognition might have been done at a better time, one must also acknowledge the shamefulness of it having not been done for the previous 68 years in which Jerusalem clearly has functioned as Israel’s capital. So in the end, thank you, Mr. President for having our nation recognize what should have been recognized long ago, that Jerusalem is indeed the capital of Israel. The full version of this article can be found at WeAreForIsrael.org (“Centrist Advocates for Realistic Peace”). David Kaufman also posts at Facebook.com/davidjaykaufman

This president has done things many of us take signficant issue with. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital should not be one of them.

T

Conservatives say yes; from Satmar, a big no President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement elicited positive and negative responses from Judaism’s religious left and right. The left-leaning Conservative movement cheered the president, while a Satmar group attacked it. The Reform movement also slammed the announcement, which it said was “ill-timed” and would “exacerbate the conflict.” (A supportive Reform stance appears on top of this page.) Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar rebbe in Kiryas Joel, said at a motzei Shabbat event, “We declare in the name of haredi Judaism: Jerusalem, the holy city, will not be the capital of the Zionist state, even if the president of the United States says it is.” “Just as haredi Jews did not recognize President Truman’s declaration in 1948 that Israel is the Jewish state, we don’t recognize it today,”

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Rabbi Teitelbaum said, according to Arutz Sheva. “Jerusalem is a holy city, a city of piety. Zionism is the opposite of fearing G-d and Torah, and it has nothing to do with the city of Jerusalem.” A Conservative movement statement said: “The status of Jerusalem is a matter to be settled in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. But in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and planning to move the American embassy to a location under uncontested Israeli sovereignty, the U.S. government acknowledges the age-old connection that Israel and the Jewish people maintain with the holy city.” The statement was authored by the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Masorti Israel, and Masorti Olami.


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By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA More than a dozen men hurled firebombs at a synagogue in Gothenburg in southern Sweden hours after locals marched in the city against the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. No one was injured in the attack on motzei Shabbat. Dvir Maoz, World Bnei Akiva youth movement emissary in Gothenburg, told JTA that the attack happened a little after 10 pm while youths from the local Jewish community were attending a party in the synagogue building. Looking outside from inside the synagogue lobby area, he said he saw in the corner of his eye “a ball of fire” approaching. “The guards saw it in the security cameras and called police right away. The children were stressed; it was the first time they had ever experienced a terrorist attack near them.” The culprits had already left by the time police arrived. The building did not sustain any substantial damage that he could see, Maoz added. Hours before the attack, several hundred people marched through the city’s center to protest of President Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. “It is unconscionable that Jews are under attack on the streets of Europe, whether by terrorists hurling Molotov cocktails or openly and brazenly calling for the mass murder of Jews in Malmo, Vienna and Paris,” European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said in a statement. “We call on European governments to take strong punitive action against those who perpetrated these acts and call for the immediate arrest of anyone who makes anyone making murderous chants.” Swedish Justice Minister Morgan Johansson wrote on Twitter: “[I]t is horrendous … to invoke violence against Jews,” and vowed to prosecute identifiable offenders. At other protest rallies about Jerusalem in Sweden, Austria and France, participants chanted, respectively, in Arabic about shooting Jews, an ancient massacre of Jews, and freedom for Palestinian terrorists. In the southern Swedish city of Malmö on Friday night, rally participants chanted, according to Sveriges Radio, “We have announced the intifada from Malmö. We want our freedom back, and we will shoot the Jews.” Earlier that day in Vienna, hundreds of participants in a rally shouted in Arabic, “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning.” The cry relates to an event in the seventh century when Muslims massacred and expelled Jews from the town of Khaybar, located in modern-day Saudi Arabia. And in France, around 400 people gathered at Place de la République on Saturday, where they cheered when an organizer, wearing a shirt that promotes a boycott of Israel, said: “This demonstration is also about freedom for Hassan Hamouri, Marwan Barghouti and all the Palestinian prisoners.” The crowd shouted back: “Freedom to the Palestinian prisoners.” Barghouti was sentenced by an Israeli court in 2004 to multiple life sentences for planning dozens of deadly terrorist attacks. Hamouri is a terrorist for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group who was arrested by Israel in 2005 and imprisoned following his con-

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11 THE JEWISH STAR December 15, 2017 • 27 Kislev 5778

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13 THE JEWISH STAR December 15, 2017 • 27 Kislev 5778

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December 15, 2017 • 27 Kislev 5778 THE JEWISH STAR

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The JEWISH STAR

Wine & Dine

Gifts from the oven make tasty Chanukah treats Joni Schockett kosher kitchen

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hanukah is a wonderful time of year to have company and trade recipes for latkes and more. I used to make sufganiyot every year. I loved doing that, but now, I prefer experimenting with latkes and veggies and more. Cheese also plays a big part in this holiday, so I always try to incorporate cheese into some latke recipe. We have also developed a tradition of having homemade spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) on Chanukah to acknowledge the cheese Judith used in her ploy. The beautiful Festival of Lights is also a great time to make some gifts from your kitchen and decorate them for friends. A package of homemade cookies or brownies is often so appreciated by the recipient and the gift has several advantages: One size fits all; you never have to worry about finding the right color or model, and the gift will never be returned. Yes, gifts from the home DO take a bit of time, but you can streamline and create up to 12 gifts with maybe three or four recipes. If you engage your children to help, it can be a fun family project — from baking, to decorating the gift packages, to delivering them. Chanukah is a wonderful, happy time for children and families and it is a special time to gather together, light the candles, sing songs and enjoy company and fun. Simple gifts from the kitchen can help the budget and can teach children that it is often more fun to make and give gifts than it is to receive them. Well, almost more fun! Have a wonderful Chanukah! Crunchy Granola (Pareve) This recipe comes from the Singer Island Hilton Hotel in Florida where the Chef graciously gave me the recipe, which I have adapted below. I bought a very inexpensive food scale for this recipe and now use it all the time when baking. Liquid ingredients can be measured in a Pyrex measuring cup. 14.5 ounces rolled oats (not quick or instant) 4 ounces cashew or walnut pieces (about 1 generous cup) 2 ounces sliced almonds 2 ounces sunflower seeds

7 ounces pumpkin seeds 1 ounce flax seeds 1 tsp. salt, scant 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground ginger 5.5 ounces of honey 3.5 ounces high oleic safflower oil 3 ounces dark brown sugar 1 to 1-1/2 ounces pure maple syrup grade B preferable Optional: Any dried fruits you like; I love very small snips of dried apricots. NOTE: Omit nuts and increase seeds for a nut-free treat. Line three large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Place all the wet ingredients in another bowl and whisk until blended. Pour the wet over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour 1/3 of the mixture onto each pan and smooth into an even layer with your hands. Place in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for about an hour to set. Break into pieces and store in a closed container in a cool place. Use with yogurt for breakfast or dessert, or as a school snack. If it gets a bit soggy, bake at 325 for about 10 minutes. Let cool again and break up the clumps. Place in a plastic bag and tie tightly, removing as much air as possible. Makes 8 to 10 cups. Chocolate Kiss Peanut Butter Cookies (Dairy) 45 chocolate kiss candies, unwrapped 2-2/3 cups sifted unbleached flour 2 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. salt 2 sticks butter, softened 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter (not all natural or the cookies will be too dry or oily)

1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup dark brown sugar 2 extra-large eggs 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1 cup, more as needed, Granulated sugar for rolling cookies dough Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap 45 kiss candies, your choice of plain, dark, almond, etc. Set aside. Sift the flour and, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Place the softened butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until creamy and well blended. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well after each addition. Beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture, beating on low. Pour one cup of sugar into a shallow bowl. Remove the bowl from the stand, and using a scant 1/4 cup of dough for each cookie, roll the dough into balls. Roll each ball in the sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using a glass, gently press each cookie to make it about 2-inches in diameter. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and place a kiss candy in the center of each cookie, pressing each candy gently into the center of the cookie. Return to the oven for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. For easy transport, place on trays, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours to solidify the chocolate. They will warm by the time you deliver them. Makes 45 cookies. The Best Chewy Chocolate Brownies (Dairy) 4 squares bitter chocolate, melted 1 cup butter, softened 1-1/3 cups sugar 2/3 cup gently packed, dark brown sugar 4 extra-large eggs 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1 cup unbleached flour 12 ounces chocolate chunks or chips

OPTIONAL: 1/2 to 1 cup walnuts, chopped; 1/2 to 1 cup white chocolate chips Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the bitter chocolate in a small pan over very low heat. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Alternately, melt in the microwave in 5-10 second bursts, stirring after each 10 seconds. Cream the butter and sugars in an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla, melted chocolate, and the flour and mix by hand. Add the chocolate chips and nuts or white chips and mix by hand. Pour into a well greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake for 3040 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting. Makes 24+ bars. Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Dairy, GF) For those friends who are adhering to a Gluten Free diet. 1 cup nut butter (I like almond or cashew), unsweetened 1 large egg 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1/4 tsp. pure almond extract 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp. baking soda 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, dark amber 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, cashews, or slivered or sliced almonds Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Set aside. Mix together first four ingredients until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts. Make balls using about 1-1/2 Tbsp. of dough. Place evenly spaced on the sheets. Flatten very slightly. Place in the oven and bake for 11 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Makes about 24 cookies.

New Israeli Chanukah fave: the Moroccan doughnut By Andrew Tobin, JTA TEL AVIV — The sufganiyah is the plump, shining star of Chanukah in Israel. The famed jelly doughnut poses in the windows of cafés and bakeries across the country; top chefs compete to give it an edgy new twist, whether it’s cheesecake filling, mascarpone topping, or a chocolate-filled squeeze tube accessory. Meanwhile, in homes across the country, Israelis quietly fry up a humbler doughnut called the sfinj. The confection hails from North Africa, and is a favorite of Jews whose families came to Israel from the region. But even European Jews have adopted the sfinj and helped push it toward the limelight. Part of the appeal of sfinjim, the plural for sfinj, is that they are easy to make. Simply take a dollop of dough, poke a hole in the middle and deep fry in vegetable oil. The doughnuts can then be dipped in honey and coated in sugar, usually of the powdered variety. When Dan Illouz immigrated to Israel eight years ago, he was dismayed that he could only find sufganiyot, so he began making sfinjim in his kitchen. During Chanukah in 2010, Illouz invited

a handful of friends over to enjoy the doughnuts with him. Word spread quickly: Last year, about 400 people showed up at his three-bedroom apartment for what has become an annual “sfinge party” (as he spells it). Illouz expects at least as large a crowd for the third night of this Chanukah, Dec. 14. Illouz puts on Moroccan music, and when the sun sets, he and his guests light the menorah candles. While sfinj are of course at the center of the celebration, Illouz also serves sweet couscous and store-bought Moroccan cookies and beverages. Needless to say, sufganiyot, plural for sufganiyah, are not on the menu. “I’m not ideologically opposed to sufganiyot,” he explained, “but I do prefer sfinjim. They’re just simpler, and they’re not quite as unhealthy.” Illouz said his sfinj party is an expression of both Moroccan and Israeli pride, a duality that has become easier to reconcile in recent years. Illouz said the new hipness of Moroccan traditions is probably part of what draws so many people to his sfinj parties. About half of Israelis are now of Mizrahi descent, though the numbers are becoming blurred

by marriage with Asheknazi, or European Jews, and others. Mizrahi music dominates the Israeli airwaves, with some musicians even singing in Arabic. Mizrahi cuisine is not only popular street food, but is also celebrated at high-end restaurants and on popular cooking TV shows. And Mizrahi celebrations, like the post-Passover Mimouna feast and the henna pre-wedding bridal shower, have been embraced by the mainstream. Some Ashkenazi Jews have also started mak-

ing sfinjim at home, often inspired by Mizrahi friends and family. Uri Scheft, a co-owner and chef at the highend bakery chain Lehamim, learned to make the doughnuts from his wife, whose mother immigrated to Israel from Morocco. He included a sfinj recipe in his 2016 cookbook “Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking,” which celebrates the cuisines produced by the “melting pot” of Israeli society. While it is hard to find a hot sfinj for sale in Israel, it is not impossible. Keren Kadosh, a pastry chef with a Moroccan background, occasionally serves them at her bustling downtown Jerusalem bakery, Café Kadosh, often in response to requests. At the same time, her lifetime of eating the doughnuts has shaped the way her bakery prepares sufganiyot, which it serves at a rate of a 1,000 day during Chanukah. “When the sufganiyot come out of the fryer, we role it in sugar, and we get that exact same crunch, sweetness and texture,” she explained. “So in a way, we’re participating in the Moroccan culture of blessing each other, which has also become Israeli culture.”


Judy Joszef who’s in the kitchen

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just one more pair of reading glasses, just case (they totaled six), sunglasses (four pairs — hey they were all about $8 each), individual packets of mayo (you never know), and assorted batteries (though we had nothing that required batteries). I even made homemade dressings to take along for Jerry. I had everything we needed and didn’t need, except for the passports. When Jerry got home before Shabbat started, he didn’t seem upset at all. On the contrary, he was upbeat and said we’ll definitely find the passports, they have to be in the house. I replied that I was sure I must’ve left them on the table and somehow they got mixed up with the newspapers and I threw them out by mistake. If I didn’t put them away immediately then they got thrown out. erry then went through every cabinet that I had already looked through. After which he went to the basement, den, study and garage. Then came the guest coat closet and the piano bench seat that opens up. The piano bench seat, Jerry? I admit I might have left them on the table and threw them out accidentally but I have not lost my mind completely. What would possess you to think that I would absentmindedly put the passports in the living room, in the piano bench seat that stores piano music books. Next, Jerry went up to check out my nighttable. I thought there was a slight chance that the passports would be would be in there. Maybe, instead of checking in online on my laptop in the kitchen, I might have decided I would do it before I went to bed in the bedroom, in which case I would’ve had to bring the passports upstairs. Jerry ran up and came down a little while later. He said he meticulously checked both our nighttables and a few different places in the room but no luck. I was just inconsolable at that point. My brother and sister-in-law would be on their own, Jerry would lose out on a well-needed vacation and we were paid in full and would not recoup any costs.

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I decided to make my way to the ceremony so I could quickly sit down before everyone started to come in. Meryl, the bride’s aunt, happened to be sitting right in front of me. Lucky for me, we wore the same size and they were black. She was going to change into flats right after the chuppah, and insisted that I take them before the chuppah even started. I can tell you one thing: I will never ever forget my shoes home again. nother thing I won’t forget, is to put the passports back immediately after I use them. Being that it was two hours before Shabbat, and we were leaving on our cruise on Sunday morning, I decided to take the passports out of the cabinet when I always keep them. You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? The passports were not there. I retraced my steps. About two months ago, I remember checking in online for the cruise. Of course, I would have put the passports away immediately, and I would only have put them in that cabinet, but I started to search every cabinet in the kitchen. I called my kids, cleaning woman, Jerry’s son — anyone who had been around. No luck. I called the cruise line to explain my situation and asked what I would do as expediting a passport couldn’t be done at this point. She said an original birth certificate or passport were the only forms of ID that were valid. So I asked, “If I have neither of those and I’m paid for in full for this 12 day cruise, should I just not show up at the pier?” “Yes,” she replied. I wasn’t upset for myself, but Jerry really needed a vacation and was looking forward to getting away. I was also upset because my brother and sister-in-law were joining us on this cruise. They normally don’t cruise this line; they did it because they wanted to be with us. I had packed things that I wouldn’t even use at home. Every time I saw something, I thought, you never know … that eyeglass repair kit (at least 10 years old and never used), crazy glue,

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n the last two weeks, my husband Jerry, did nothing more ridiculous than usual, thus leaving me with no material to write about. Fortuitously, I managed two doozies on my own. Jerry and I were about to leave for Brittany Kaufmann’s wedding to Evan Grazi. My daughter, Jordana, a close friend of Brittany, was a bridesmaid, and Jerry and I are close friends of her parents, Rise and Harvey Kaufmann. The door to the car was open, so we slipped right in. But then the dreaded “No Key” sign flashed on when Jerry tried to start the car. I realized that the fob must have fallen out of my evening bag when I put it on my bed. I kicked my four-and-a-half inch heels onto the curb and ran into the house and up the stairs to my bedroom to get the key. I then dashed down the steps and into the car and told Jerry to drive quickly. I wanted to get there on time. (Quickly for Jerry is 30 miles an hour, when not on a highway). Two hours later, as we neared the entrance to the venue, I reached down to find my heals. Hmm, they had to be in the car, they couldn’t have just disappeared. Could they? And then panic struck. My shoes were on the curb back in Woodmere, where I left them. Every time I grab my shoes to take along to an affair, I always think, what would happen if I left one or both at home by mistake, and I would have to wear the awful pair of flats or the slippers I walked to the car in. I was about to find out, only there were no flats or slippers. I was going to have to walk in barefoot, and no stockings. I quickly texted my daughter, hoping she would get my message and find a bridesmaid, who wore the same size as me, and who was going to change into flats for the dancing, and then, at least I would have shoes for part of the wedding. By the grace of G-d I chose to wear a gown that night so as awful as it was, it could have been worse. I started out walking on my tiptoes, as a ballerina would, so that I wouldn’t trip and fall on my face. Of course, the first person I saw when I walked into the smorgasbord was my daughter. After she inquired how in the world I forgot my shoes, her husband Dan quipped, “Judy, leaving my shoes at home, that is definitely something I would do,” and he high fived me (those of you who know my son-in-law are all nodding in agreement right now, seriously). Within five minutes I was offered snow boots only two sizes too small, and the bride’s designer crystalencrusted white satin shoes, when she would change into sneaker heels; even Jerry, doing an impersonation of Sir Walter Raleigh, offered me his size 12 “Shabbos” shoes (as he still calls them).

I couldn’t even get excited about a great topic for my article, as I already had one about my shoes being left at home. I went upstairs to take my lenses out and when I stuck my hand into my nighttable drawer to get my eyeglasses, guess what I found. Don’t quit your day job, Jerry. No snide remarks about my choice of recipes this week. You try coming up with recipes that contain the words shoe and passport. SHOEpeg corn casserole Taste of Home Kitchen Ingredients: 2 cans (11 ounces each) shoepeg or white corn, drained 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped celery 1/4 cup chopped green pepper 3/4 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 18 crackers) 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted Directions: In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with the cracker crumbs; drizzle with butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Chicken, mushrooms and tomatoes with port Wine Simply Recipes by Elise Bauer Ingredients: 4 chicken boneless breast halves (with skin or without) Salt and pepper to taste 6 whole cloves garlic 2 Tbsp butter 1/4 pound of cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered if large 3 Tbsp finely chopped shallots 1/4 cup Port wine 4 small (3/4 pound) plum tomatoes, cored and quartered, or 3/4 pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half (about 2 cups) 2 Tbsp chopped parsley(for garnish) 1 Salt the chicken: Sprinkle the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. 2 Boil the garlic: Drop the garlic into a small saucepan of boiling water, cook for 5 minutes, and set aside. When cool, peel of the skins. 3 Brown the chicken: Heat the butter in a heavy skillet and add the chicken pieces. Cook over medium high heat for about 1 minute, or until lightly browned on one side. Turn and cook for about 1 minute on the second side. 4 Add the mushrooms and cook, turning chicken occasionally, for about 2 minutes. 5 Add the shallots and the garlic cloves to the pan. Add the Port wine, tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through )a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165°F). Transfer the chicken, mushrooms, and tomatoes to a warm platter. If the sauce is thin, cook it down for a minute or two. Pour onto chicken and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

THE JEWISH STAR December 15, 2017 • 27 Kislev 5778

Double trouble! This time, it wasn’t Jerry’s fault

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Go Beyond! Alternatives to Tel Aviv and J’salem By Andrew Tobin, JTA JERUSALEM — Many Jews who move to Israel only have eyes for Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Whether it’s Tel Aviv’s wealth of startups, sunny beaches and culture, or Jerusalem’s history and religious life, newcomers want to be where the action is. But neither city is cheap. Tel Aviv is one of the most expensive in the world, and Jerusalem, increasingly crowded, isn’t far behind. Tel Aviv’s housing prices have risen faster over the past decade than any other city in the world. So last month, nearly 400 new and newish immigrants, mostly religious Jews from North America, turned up at a Jerusalem conference to explore moving to Israeli cities and towns farther afield. Representatives of 40 locales offered spiels and deals. The overarching message at the “communities fair” run by the Jewish immigration promoter Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN) was simple: Life is cheaper and better elsewhere. “We did this in order to expose the olim to the fact that there are numerous opportunities in Israel,” said Rachel Berger, NBN post-aliyah maven. “There is so much more, and it’s greater than what you know.” “Outside of the center of the country, you have less expensive housing. You have lots of green,” Berger said, “and you have a sense of community.” The conference was part of a joint initiative called Go Beyond by NBN and Israel’s Jewish National Fund to promote Jewish settlement in the periphery as well as Jerusalem. Katie and Joe, a North America-born couple in their late 20s, met and married in Israel several years ago. They said they plan to have children, and are just about fed up with their cramped apartment in this city. “I don’t know anyone who can afford to buy in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem,” Katie said. In Tel Aviv, the average three-bedroom apartment costs nearly $1 million, and the cost of housing has more than doubled in the past decade.

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An Israeli family views Ayit Falls near the town of Katzrin on the Golan Heights.

And that’s in a country where the cost of living is already more than 50 percent higher than the average among the 35 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and a home costs more than 12 years of pay on average. But outside the big cities, and even more so in the north and south of the country, money goes a lot further. According to NBN, homes can be had in Katzrin, a town in the Golan Heights, or Arad, a small city near the Negev capital of Beersheba, for a fifth of the price per square foot in Tel Aviv, a fourth of the price per square foot in Jerusalem. NBN and the government also offer special financial incentives to some who choose to live in Israel’s so-called periphery, or non-central regions. Community representatives were quick to talk up their community’s affordability and other benefits of small-town life.

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Avigail Buki, a Montreal native, was representing Katzrin. She said she and her husband paid just over $400,000 for a 1,500 square-foothouse with a backyard overlooking the Sea of Galilee. But she said what really drew them to the community was its tight-knit religious atmosphere, natural surroundings and good Orthodox Jewish schools for their children. “People don’t lock doors there,” she said. Buki’s husband, Yaron, acknowledged that there are also downsides to living in the periphery. He noted that it can be an hours-long commute to the center of the country, where many of the best jobs are based, and there are relatively few English speakers to talk to. Also, he warned, Katzrin is one of the few places in Israel where he could be killed by wildlife. “If you want to die by a boar, come to Katzrin,” he joked.

New olim at last month’s conference.

Yonit Schiller

But he said the periphery is fast developing, thanks in part to government investment, and the unique skills of English-speakers are appreciated in communities where they are rare. For example, his wife is an English teacher at a local high school. Asked if he saw the fact that the Golan Heights is outside Israel’s internationally recognized borders as a plus or minus, Buki said neither: “It’s all Israel.” For their part, Katie and Joe said they had their hearts set on a coming-soon neighborhood of the southern city of Kiryat Gat that is seeking to attract English-speaking Orthodox Jews like them. A four-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot apartment in one new building there goes for just over $300,000. Joe would be able to get to his marketing job at a Tel Aviv startup by train in just over half an hour, faster than his current commute from Jerusalem.

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may well be the largest celebration of Chanukah By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA BUDAPEST —The 150-year-old outdoor ice in Europe: the annual gathering of 6,000 Jews at skating rink in this city’s center is the largest in the State Kremlin Palace for an evening of dance Central Europe, stretching across 3.5 acres. Hun- and performances, as well as the bestowing of dreds of thousands of visitors come for the Christ- awards to communal VIPs. Organizers say the mas market, the winter festival, and the promise venue is important to them for symbolic reasons because it produced some of the world’s worst anof smooth ice and affordable skate rentals. On the first night of Chanukah, however, the ti-Semitic policies after the fall of Nazi Germany. In Budapest, the city’s summertime Jewish rink is populated with hundreds of Jews who sing Chanukah songs as they watch rabbis on skates cultural festival is also an example of Jews relight a large menorah built by EMIH, the local claiming their place in society. Judafest, which branch of the Chabad. With help from a donor, was held for the tenth consecutive year, draws they rent the rink for $12,000 and distribute suf- thousands of Jews and non-Jews to the historically Jewish 7th district for sessions, activities and ganiyot and tea to holiday revelers. The City Park Chanukah celebration started exhibitions connected to Jewish cooking, dancing just over a decade ago, and it is unusual in that and Yiddish. it’s one of just a few places in Europe where the North American “Chanukah on ice” tradition has taken root. It’s also part of a broader “coming out” of Jewish communities in the former communist bloc, where after years of practicing their religion underground, Jews are now celebrating Chanukah in very public ways. “Chanukah used to be low key in Budapest, as was everything else connected to Judaism during socialism,” said Rabbi Boruch Oberlander, one of the early organizers of Bu- Rabbi Slomo Koves and a participant at Chabad Hungary’s 2015 Chadapest’s Chanukah on ice tra- nukah on Ice event. Courtesy EMIH dition. Back then, Jews feared But there’s something special about the Chathat practicing any religion — and Judaism espenukah on ice event, which is held at an iconic locially — invited persecution. Unaware or ashamed of their Jewish identity, cation with strong ties to the holiday period for countless Jews in that part of the world assimi- all Hungarians. “I think it indicates a generational difference lated, distanced themselves from Judaism and produced children that no longer regarded them- in which young people our age don’t think twice about participating in an event that celebrates, selves as Jewish. Against this background, Chanukah has a spe- publicly, our Jewish identity,” Eszter Fabriczki, cial significance in the post-communist world, said 30, a regular at the event, told JTA. “Holocaust Oberlander, a Brooklyn-born rabbi who settled in survivors passed the fear element to their chilBudapest 28 years ago as an emissary of Chabad. dren, but not to their grandchildren.” Against this background, Fabriczki said her Oberlander isn’t just referring to public events at ice skating rinks — there’s also the longstand- father “is freaking out over my wanting to give ing practice of placing Chanukah menorahs on my son a circumcision, if I have a son, because the windowsill, specifically for all to see. “Mean- then he could be identified as Jewish.” She has no children, adding: “I have no thoughts of this kind, ing, don’t be low key!” he told JTA. Oberlander, 53, does not skate himself, he living a pretty comfortable Jewish life.” Despite the generational gap it exposes, Fabsaid, explaining he’s “not very good at it.” But in his community, the event is one of the most riczki said she and her mother have bonded over popular because of how it combines seasonal the City Park Ice Rink Chanukah event. “I’m quite religious but my mother is not, so amenities, sports and religious ceremony in a fun, the Chanukah on ice event is something we can family-friendly setting. His interpretation of how Jews should cele- share because she likes to ice skate and it’s imporbrate Chanukah is shared by many rabbis all over tant for me to observe all the Jewish holidays,” the world — Chabad rabbis, in particular — who Fabriczki said. But for 16-year-old Sara Szalai, Budapest’s stage large, public menorah lightings in central squares of major cities. New York, for example, Chanukah on ice means quality time with her boasts two such massive events: The Grand Army dad, Kalman, who is the managing director of Plazas in both Manhattan and Brooklyn have the Jewish community’s Action and Protection been in competition over which holds the title of Foundation — the local equivalent of the AntiDefamation League, which monitors anti-Semitic World’s Largest Menorah. Such displays inspired Jews to think big in incidents. Neither are particularly concerned, she said, Western Europe, ending decades in which communities traumatized by the Holocaust had about self-identifying as Jews at the event. “Maybe there are people who think this way, shunned initiatives that advertise Judaism. Since 2013 in the Netherlands, for example, but for us it’s not a big issue,” said Szalai, who the chief rabbi has been lifted in a crane (along added that she’s a “pretty good” skater. “It’s usually pretty crowded there, so it’s a rare with the Israeli ambassador) to light the first candle of a 36-foot menorah built for the Jewish opportunity to really skate properly on Chanukah community by Christian Zionists who say it is Eu- without worrying about bumping into people,” rope’s largest. In Berlin, a giant menorah is lit at she said. The event typically unites Jews across the the Brandenburg Gate monument. Like the massive menorah lightings, Europe’s religious-secular divide. In Hungary’s fractious growing Chanukah on ice trend — which this year Jewish community — where interdenominational can be observed in Budapest, Moscow and Lon- tensions are rising amid polarizing policies undon — also started in the United States, where it dertaken by the nationalist government — the is occurring this year in locations from Wollman Chanukah on ice event offers a rare armistice in Rink in Central Park, to Houston to San Mateo, which the secular, religious, local and Israeli Jews put aside their differences for a night of fun. California. It’s also, Fabriczki noted, “a chance to see rabIn Moscow, the popular Chanukah on ice event, which began in 2012, is eclipsed by what bis on skates.”

Come Play with Us!

THE JEWISH STAR December 15, 2017 • 27 Kislev 5778

Budapest Chanukah rolls onto the ice rink

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December 15, 2017 • 27 Kislev 5778 THE JEWISH STAR

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SHAbbAT STAR

‫כוכב של שבת‬

Read The Jewish Star’s archive of Torah columns at TheJewishStar.com/category/torahcolumns/browse.html

Often, we must wait to glimpse the big picture Rabbi binny FReedman the heart of jerusalem

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t was one of the darkest moments of my life, although in retrospect it seems almost trivial. After completing two months of basic infantry training, two months of tank school training followed by the armored corps’ grueling 12 week field training course, and then successfully completing tank commander’s course, I was invited to IDF Officer training. This is a course by invitation only; no matter how much you want it, the army has to decide you are worth the spot. I recall struggling with the decision as it meant signing up for a lot more army time, with no guarantee I would finish. As it turned out, I did not know the half of it. Two hundred and fifty of us were invited to try our hand at getting into Officer’s course — only 80 would be selected — and we were assembled for a month-long “mechin,” or prep course. After an intense month of tests, exhausting runs, navigations, and a variety of training exercises designed to see how we would fare under pressure, we were assembled on the misdar (parade ground) as the 80 names were called out in what is known as a misdar de’maot (parade of tears), tears for the 170 cadets who would not be going on to officer’s course. Four months later, after an even more painfully difficult IDF officer’s course at the infamous Bahd Echad (IDF training base One), we received our IDF Officer oak leaf-and-sword pin. After that, there was only one course left — four months of one of the most grueling courses in the IDF was all that stood between me and receiving my second lieutenant’s bars: the IDF

Tank platoon commander’s course. And after three months and 27 days, averaging three hours sleep a night, having slept in an actual bed for no more than seven or eight of those days, with just three days left to the course, a tribunal consisting of my company commander, battalion commander and the base commander, explained that they did not feel in good conscience they could send me out into the field to command men under fire. I had been given notice throughout the course that my scores were borderline, but we had actually completed the course and were in the process of preparing for the final ceremony, practicing on the parade ground, giving back the gear we had signed off on, cleaning the tanks, and I could already taste it. I had allowed myself to think I was done, when they had sent word I was to appear that evening in dress uniform for a tribunal reviewing my course status. They told me I was good, I just wasn’t good enough. And ten minutes later I was done, told I was free to leave the base and report to a new unit as a tank commander. The thought of spending the night on base watching all my buddies joking around and preparing for the ceremony was too much bear. Which was why I found myself at 10 o’clock at night on a lonely stretch of road outside the base in the middle of the Negev desert, desperately waiting to hitch a ride, any ride, to get as far away as I could from what I was now desperate to put behind me. For six hours I stood on the lonely road beneath the night sky full of stars with my kitbag and gear trying to figure it all out. If I was not meant to be an officer then what was the point

of all the hell I had just been through? It was one of the darkest nights of my life. his week’s parsha of Miketz offers a glimpse into just such a moment in the life of Yosef, beloved and favored son of Yaakov. After being sold as a slave and eventually plucked out of the pit of Egypt’s Royal prison system, Joseph, literally overnight, finds himself standing in front of no less than Pharaoh himself being asked to interpret his dreams. The seven fat healthy cows consumed by the seven sickly cows along the Nile, and the second dream of seven healthy wheat stalks consumed by seven moldy stalks, meant there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. We all know how the story plays out: Pharaoh, impressed by Joseph’s wisdom and humility (“it is G-d who provides the interpretations of dreams”) appoints him to be the viceroy over the entire Egyptian empire, and in a moment, the lowly slave becomes the second most powerful person in the world. But there is a fascinating and seemingly insignificant detail in the story that begs a question: Pharaoh has two dreams, and they both seem to be identical. So why the need for both dreams? Joseph actually explains this puzzling detail: “That Pharaoh has dreamed this twice means that G-d is firmly resolved regarding this plan and is speedily setting it in motion.” (Bereishis 41:32) How did Joseph know this? It may be that G-d shared with Joseph a prophecy to that effect, but the Torah usually reveals such information as prophecy; here, there is no “and G-d spoke to Joseph.” Like Pharaoh, Joseph himself had two dreams,

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they told me i was good, i just wasn’t good enough.

many years earlier, which seemed to be the prelude for everything that happened subsequently — dreaming of wheat bushels and the sun moon and stars bowing down to him. It is hard to imagine Joseph, standing before Pharaoh, not recalling his own dreams and one wonders if Joseph began to realize he was finally getting a glimpse of the bigger picture. t must have been devastating for Joseph; one minute he was the favored son of Yaakov, gifted with a beautiful technicolor coat as a symbol of his father’s love and dreaming of great things ; even the sun moon and stars would bow down to him! He must have felt G-d was guiding his path: he was destined for greatness. And in a whirlwind of events he found himself in a pit if despair. First the pit his brothers threw him in, and later the pit of Egyptian servitude. Gone were his delusions of grandeur as the years snuck by and no salvation seemed imminent. His beloved father Yaakov was not coming to save him and no one seemed to care as he languished in the pit of despair; even the butler whose life he had saved had long forgotten him. But the Talmud tells us that “yeshuat Hashem ke’heref ayin” (“the salvation of Hashem can come like the blink of an eye”). As Joseph stands before Pharaoh, perhaps he finally realizes this was all part of a bigger picture. It was not the brothers who had thrown him in that pit all those years ago — Hashem had placed him in that pit and had been guiding his journey. Joseph had dreamed of wheat bushels bowing down, and Pharaoh dreamed of wheat stalks being consumed, and it was through the storing of wheat and its later barter that Joseph becomes the instrument for G-d’s plan that caused the brothers to eventually come down to Egypt. See The big picture on page 21

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So why, after all, do we celebrate for 8 days? Rabbi avi billet Parsha of the week

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ne of the more popular questions asked about Chanukah is why is it celebrated eight days if the miracle of the oil was only for seven days? Meaning, if the people who rededicated the holy Temple found enough oil to last one day, then that one day isn’t a miracle! Of course, the supposition that they celebrated eight days because of the miracle of the oil is only one view. There are other ways to look at Chanukah, through history and through precedent that may help us have a deeper appreciation for the holiday. In Book of Maccabees I Chapter 4, the classic work of the Apocrypha states: “On the 25th of the ninth month, Chislev, in the year 148, they rose at dawn and offered a lawful sacrifice on the new altar of burnt offering which they had made. The altar was dedicated. … The whole people fell prostrate in adoration and then praised Heaven who had granted them success. For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar, joyfully offering burnt offerings…” One of the reasons for choosing to celebrate eight days was because they had missed the holiday of Sukkot plus Shmini Atzeret on account of the fighting and sought to make it up, at least on a celebration level, at this time. But even such a celebration has much deeper roots. Consider that the dedication and consecration of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle of the Wilderness,

covered an eight-day period — the “yom ha shmini” is highly celebrated in the Torah portion of that name. And while that celebration was marred by the untimely and tragic deaths of Aharon’s sons Nadav and Avihu, the day being defined as the eighth day indicates it followed seven prior days of celebration. n the book of Melachim, at the dedication of the Temple build under Solomon’s financing and leadership, we find a depiction of a celebration for seven days, followed by an additional seven days. They had missed Yom Kippur that year, due to the pending completion, and sought to make it up to G-d through an additional celebration. Smack in the middle of the two seven days periods the verse (8:66) highlights an “eighth day” — presumably Shmini Atzeret — which was an extra special day of celebration. Clearly, celebrations of this length were normal when it comes to the Temple’s dedication. Did they observe an eight-day celebration at the completion of the building of the second Temple? Towards the end of Ezra Chapter 6, we are told the Temple was completed on the third day of Adar. A little over a month later, Pesach was observed in all its glory as a seven-day holiday. While a great many sacrifices were offered at the time of the completion of the construction, how long the dedication celebration went on is

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not recorded. Did they save their celebration for Pesach time? It is possible. If it is true that their celebration was only seven days, how does that fit in with the proposed theory, that dedications of Temples are always eight days? Simple: The second Temple was missing something — it never rose to the level of the First Temple. It did not have an Ark, the High Priest did not have the Urim V’Tumim, and there was an air of this not being a complete return to the glory of the old days. This leads us to the significance of the number eight. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch makes a powerful case for the significance of the number seven in the Torah and in all of Jewish life. Very few things are attached to the number eight, though they do include Shmini Atzeret, Brit Milah, and the number of strings in each tzitzit corner. He also mentions Shavuot as being the beginning of an eighth week (following seven complete weeks of Sefirat Ha’Omer), Jubilee as the beginning of an eighth cycle (following seven complete Shmittah cycles), as well as the eighth day being the day a baby animal to be used as an offering is now fit (prior to which it was to remain with its mother). he midrash notes in the account of Creation that Sabbath turned to G-d and said, “You made a partner for each day — one

Chanukah includes Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh, and the 8 days recall brit milah — all banned by antiochus.

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has two, three has four, five has six. 1 has 2. What will be with me?” G-d replied, “Israel will be your partner.” Rabbi Hirsch explained that seven is directly connected to G-d, but the eight represents the visible upholder of the seven. Shmini Atzeret is our way of celebrating with G-d one last time at the end of Sukkot. There is ample evidence that Shavuot — owing to its linkage to Pesach through the counting of the omer — is the eighth day of Pesach. Tzitzit and milah are public displays of G-d’s presence in our midst. Thus a complete celebration of eight days, as indicated by the Divine hand the Maccabees and company felt at the conclusion of their defeat of Antiochus, was certainly warranted. But I think there’s one more point to consider as well. Antiochus famously outlawed three mitzvot: Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh, and circumcision. Isn’t it fascinating that an eight day Chanukah will always include at least one Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh, and its length of time reminds us of the mitzvah of Brit Milah. The public displays of candles on Chanukah are our way of publicly demonstrating that the enemy was defeated, and his designs failed. And we very proudly observe Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh during Chanukah, and give a tribute to our most common eight-day celebration (a tribute to Brit Milah, because you can’t plan these things) through how this holiday is set up in the calendar. May we be blessed to take the lesson of Chanukah, a public rededication to G-d, as we celebrate for eight days.


‘Kol-Bo’ for Chanukah, part 2 Kosher BooKworm

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abbi Aaron Goldscheider, the author of “The Light That Unites” (OUPress, 2017) authored an interesting essay for the current issue of Yeshiva University’s “Torah To-Go: Chanukah 5778” entitled, “Reflecting on the Menorah’s Reflection,” wherein he made the following observations: “Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, z’’tl, in ‘Days of Deliverance,’ pages 176–179, shared a profound insight regarding the menorah, which strikingly parallels this theme alluded to within the word ‘kankan.’ The Rav takes note of the Torah verses that describe the menorah lighting in the Mishkan. Surprisingly, the laws governing lighting the menorah are stated hand in hand with the offering of the ‘ketoret,’ the incense.” Rabbi Goldscheider continues: “With poetic beauty, the Rav compared the light of the menorah to a star in the night sky: “The distant star does not shed light, it does not resolve enigmas or clear up mysteries. However, it does tell one story: namely, that there is a light behind the vast and awesome cosmic drama. “The Rav is proposing a unique perspective regarding the inner meaning of the menorah. The menorah should not be viewed as a bright light or a symbol of clear providence or Divine intervention. On the contrary, the menorah represents merely the ‘twinkle from the star above,’ the light of G-d when it is dimmed and difficult to discern. In such times a Jew is responsible to search out G-d and strive to locate His presence; to be aware of His guiding hand even when it is not apparent. “Taking this interpretation to heart, the miracle of Chanukah, which centered around the menorah, is most fitting. The Rav taught that the

festival of Chanukah commemorates an era of ‘hester panim,’ G-d’s hiddenness. … No prophet promised a reward, no vision inspired them, no message gave them solace. It was an act of faith par excellence. This is their message to the generations: ‘Do not believe that our people is abandoned of G-d’.” (Macc. 7:6). The rabbi concludes: “On the darkest nights of the year, the Jew places the menorah lights in the window. Little lights flicker from our homes spreading a message to the world. Namely, when we see beyond the Kankan, when we lift the outer veil, suddenly the letters YH-VH appear. In truth, all along the way, even during the most painful and bleakest moments, G-d was there with us.” In “The Light That Unites” there is what I regard as a sacred modern day midrash, entitled, “Yedidya’s Light.” Yedidya is the son of a former student of mine from long ago, Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum, and of his wife, Leah, both leaders of the holy Jewish community of Hebron. YEDIDYA’S LIGHT This is the true story of a little boy by the name of Yedidya, who made aliyah with his family to the city of Hebron. … Only 90 Jewish families live in the city. It is not an easy or hospitable place for Jews to live. Nevertheless, these heroic families live in this sacred setting because they passionately believe in the holiness of this biblical city … where Abraham and Sarah lived for much of their lives … where Sarah died, and where Abraham purchased a cave and field so that he could bury his wife and establish burial plots for his family. The cave is known as Me’arat Hamachpelah. … Well, beautiful little Yedidya was a special young boy, loved by all the families of Hebron. At the age of three and a half, Yedidya was diagnosed with autism. … By the age of three, he had still not uttered a full word. His parents prayed each day for his health and well-being. If only he would begin to speak. Yedidya’s father prays each day in

the Me’arat Hamachpelah. He serves as the director of tourism for the Jewish community in the city. One afternoon Yedidya joined his father on a tour of the Me’arat Hamachpelah. Even at this young age, Yedidya knew his way around the cave. While his father was praying the afternoon service, Yedidya went off on his own, as he often did. That day he ran in the direction of the burial place of Abraham. The area where Abraham is buried does not have an accessible entrance. People generally stand outside it and look through steel-gated windows. It is common for people to stand by these openings and peer through these spaces and offer prayers. Suddenly, policemen who keep watch on the goings-on inside the cave gathered around the area of Abraham’s burial place. There was commotion. The guards called out, “Get your son out. Please get him out! He must get out!” There was a little boy sitting on the ground, inside the gated area. How he got in is unclear, but he had found his way inside. Incredibly, Yedidya had somehow climbed through the bars. And he was in no mind to leave. Little Yedidya sat on the floor, totally unaware of what was happening around him. He did not hear the shouts of the police, nor did he sense the commotion. Yedidya was sitting on the floor, smiling and completely at ease. And then, for the first time in his life, Yedidya spoke. He loudly said two words: “Ohr poh, Light here.” He excitedly repeated these words: “Light here, light here,” and he was pointing to Abraham’s burial place. Amazingly, little Yedidya sensed light emanating from this holy spot. When we are spiritually sensitive, we can perceive a light from beyond the physical world. There is light where there is joy. There is light where there is kindness. There is light when there is love shared between people. Yedidya uttered just four more words before he was removed from the burial place: Abba poh,

Ima poh, “Father is here, Mother is here.” He was pointing to the burial place of Abraham and Sarah. Yedidya sensed the aura found in this holy place — earth that contains within it the very roots of the Jewish people. There is light when we are deeply connected to our wondrous past and to our noble roots. If we let them, the candles of Chanukah will remind us of this magnificent spiritual light. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, said, “The innocent faith of a child touches upon the utterly simple essence of G-d.” ALSO FOR YOUR HOLIDAY LEARNING: “The Miracles of Chanukah” privately published, adapted from the writings and shiurim of Rav Shlomo Brevda, zt”l. “The Lights of Chanukah: One Hundred Meditations” by Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman (Ohr Chasah, 2017). “Moadim Perspectives: Chanukah-Purim” (Feldheim, 2018), based on the teachings of Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch, Rav Dr. Salomon Breuer and Rav Dr. Joseph Breuer. And for Shabbat: “Candle Lighting Treasury,” by Rabbi Dov Weller (ArtScroll, 2017).

Bright lights of Chanukah and Purim W Rabbi david etengoff

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hanukah and Purim, the two rabbinically based chagim, are joyous days of celebration and giving thanks to Hashem. My rebbe and mentor, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zatzal, the Rav, described their similarities: “Purim and Chanukah represent man’s active involvement. There is no prohibition of work. G-d chose Mordechai, Esther, and the Maccabees not as onlookers but as actors. He demanded from them sacrificial, heroic action. He told them to plan the strategy and execute it. Man is the fulfiller of Gd’s will. Hence, when triumph was achieved, G-d willed man to celebrate a day of love and sympathy, a day of sharing and togetherness. Chanukah and Purim revolve around the merger of the individual with the community, promoting an open, sympathetic existence. (Days of Deliverance: Essays on Purim and Chanukah; Eli D. Clark, Joel B. Wolowelsky and Reuven Ziegler editors) The Rav’s understanding of the parallels between Chanukah and Purim stresses that Mordechai, Esther and the Maccabees were active agents in the salvation of the Jewish people who engaged in “sacrificial heroic action.” They fulfilled Hashem’s will and “when triumph was achieved, G-d willed man to celebrate a day of love and sympathy, a day of sharing and togetherness.” However, when we examine the Al ha-nissim (For the Miracles) prayer that is recited on both Chanukah and Purim, we find significant disparities in their form and content. Chanukah’s Al hanissim has 92 words; Purim’s is a mere 52. Purim has its own sefer — Megillat Esther, included in Tanach — whose 10 chapters extensively narrates it events. As such, it does not need an elaborately articulated Al ha-nissim. Chanukah’s chronicle, how-

ever, is not found anywhere in Tanach; as such, its “megillah” is its extensive Al ha-nissim formulation. av Soloveitchik focuses on an additional fundamental conceptual difference between Chanukah and Purim as illustrated in the Al ha-nissim: “If you compare the Al ha-nissim that we recite on Purim with the Al ha-nissim we recite on Chanukah, you will find an important distinction. In the Al ha-nissim of Purim, there is nothing mentioned of Mordechai and Esther’s role in the unfolding of the dramatic events about which the Megillah tells us. We know from the Megillah that Mordechai took the initiative and Esther was ready to sacrifice herself. But in the Al ha-nissim, the names of Mordechai and Esther are mentioned only as an indication of the period during which the events transpired: ‘In the days of Mordechai and Esther.’ It should have said: ‘And Mordechai cried out, and Esther entered the chamber of the king’.” (4:1; 5:1) Herein, the Rav underscores the role of Mordechai and Esther as historical markers instead of historical actors. In fact, Purim’s Al ha-nissim completely de-emphasizes the singular import that human intervention played in bringing about the deliverance of the Jewish people at this moment in history. The Rav formulates this notion by stating, “Though the Megillah depicts the human role and human action, these are completely ignored in the Al ha-nissim of Purim.”Thus, we find in Purim’s Al ha-nissim: “But You [Hashem], in your abundant mercy, nullified his counsel [i.e. Ha-

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man’s] and frustrated his intention and caused his design to return upon his own head, and they hanged him and his sons on the gallows.” The Rav points out that the situation is reversed when we read the Al ha-nissim for Chanukah, wherein the Maccabees’ instrumental role is the point of focus: “You delivered the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and the wanton into the hands of the diligent students of Your Torah. … Thereafter Your children came into the shrine of Your house, cleansed Your Temple, purified Your sanctuary, kindled the lights in the courts of Your holiness.” Rav Soloveitchik buttresses this line of reasoning by reminding us of the prominent role given the Maccabees in the Ha-nerot hallalu (These Candles) prayer that is recited after lighting the chanukiyah (menorah): “… [the] miracles and wonders that You performed for our forefathers, by means of Your holy priests [the Maccabees].” The Rambam echoes this prayer’s text in his Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Chanukah when he states: “The children of the Hasmonean High Priests overpowered them [ithe Syrian-Green legions], and killed them, and saved Israel from them.” (3:1) In sum, each of these Chanukah sources emphasize the Jewish people’s role in achieving victory, whereas, as we have seen, in the case of Purim, the deliverance from evil is attributed solely to the Almighty.

on Chanukah, the Maccabees took a spiritual initiative and rekindled the lights. on Purim, it was Hashem who brought light to our physical salvation.

hat is the underlying reason for this glaring disparity between Purim and Chanukah? Once again, the Rav offers his illuminating insights: “We learn from this that when the fight is spiritual, G-d invites the Jew to participate. When spiritual survival is at stake, man must take the initiative. Even though man is under the guidance of the Almighty, man takes the initiative, and therefore his role is recorded. … Antiochus was interested in destroying the Jews spiritually. When the menace is of a spiritual nature, then the initiative belongs to man. Man engages in the struggle for spiritual survival. For this reason, the Hasmoneans took the initiative, and we rememeber their efforts when we commemorate their victory on Chanukah.” In stark contrast, however: “When it is only a question of physical struggle [as in the case of Purim wherein Haman’s goal was to murder our people,] G-d acts differently. When there is a physical menace or the threat of physical destruction, G-d uses the human hand as an instrument of His will. He recruits man. He uses human energy, human resources, to implement the plan that He has devised. But Judaism has said that in this case, the man who is the messenger of G-d should not be credited with the salvation. … On Purim we celebrate a physical victory. [Therefore,] in the liturgy we make no mention of Mordechai and Esther’s deeds because, if the achievements are in the realm of military conquest and of material nature, victory should be attributed to the Almighty.” As different as Purim and Chanukah are from one another, we must never forget one essential parallel: Just as the Maccabees took the spiritual initiative and rekindled the lights of the menorah in the Beit Hamikdash, so, too, did Hashem bring light to our people on Purim to commemorate the physical salvation He undertook on our behalf. As Megillat Esther powerfully attests: “The Jews had light and joy, and gladness and honor.” (8:16) With Hashem’s protection, may we never again face the physical trials and tribulations represented by Purim, nor the spiritual challenges that Chanukah portrays. Instead, may we ever be zocheh to experience the light and joy of Chanukah and Purim. V’chane yihi ratzon!

THE JEWISH STAR December 15, 2017 • 27 Kislev 5778

alan Jay geRbeR

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December 15, 2017 • 27 Kislev 5778 THE JEWISH STAR

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In decades-old Argentina bombing, truth will out Ben Cohen Viewpoint

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ike so many pins in a bowling alley, the treacherous former Argentine leaders who signed a secret pact exonerating Iran of its responsibility for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires are, finally, collapsing under the rolling weight of judicial scrutiny. In a week that saw President Donald Trump recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, one can be forgiven for not having noticed the momentous events that took place in Argentina at the same time. But these events are vitally relevant to the future of the Middle East, where Iran— with or without a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem— remains the greatest threat to Israel and to the region. For much of this year, Argentine judge Claudio Bonadio has been heading a federal inquiry into the allegation that in 2011, Argentina and

Iran signed a secret memorandum of understanding that, in exchange for trade and other benefits, Tehran and Buenos Aires would establish a laughably named “truth commission” to establish the facts of the AMIA bombing—until 9/11, the single worst terror atrocity since World War II. Eighty-five people were murdered and hundreds more were wounded when a fuel truck rammed into the AMIA building on Pasteur Street in downtown Buenos Aires. Bonadio’s inquiry is based on the complaint against former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her colleagues compiled by Alberto Nisman, the federal prosecutor investigating the AMIA bombing. Nisman was found murdered in his Buenos Aires apartment on Jan. 18, 2015, the night before he was due to unveil the complaint before Argentina’s Congress. Nisman began working on the AMIA case in 2005, when his courageous efforts resulted in

Interpol releasing six “red notices” for the Iranian and Hezbollah officials wanted in connection with the bombing. But as Kirchner fell under the sway of the late Venezuelan tyrant, Hugo Chavez, her policy toward Iran shifted accordingly. Nisman found himself out in the cold; and for all that remains to be established, he may have even been murdered on the instructions of Kirchner or someone close to her. There is now, as a result of Bonadio’s inquiry, the prospect that all this will be the subject of a major treason trial. While Bonadio has asked Argentina’s Senate to strip Kirchner of her immunity from prosecution, former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman—who signed the pact with his Iranian counterpart in January 2011 at a meeting hosted by Syrian dictator Bashar alAssad—is under house arrest, and a host of political aides, intelligence officials and Kirchner enforcers have been either locked up or forbidden from the leaving the country by Argentina’s police.

85 people were murdered and hundreds more wounded.

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he developments are the most important in the AMIA case since Nisman’s murder almost three years ago. All the lies that Kirchner and her acolytes told—when they denied there had been a pact with Iran in the first place, when they tried to smear Nisman’s reputation after his murder and when they insisted that his death had been a suicide—have been exposed as lies. Those who continue to stand with Kirchner do so because of their radical political orientation, and not because they respect the truth about AMIA and Nisman’s murder. How extensive any trials in Argentina might be is debatable. Stripping Kirchner of her immunity will be a difficult task, and her successor Mauricio Macri will be wary of giving his rival more opportunities to take the center stage with the protestations of innocence at which she is, one has to concede, a master. Timerman, meanwhile, is gravely ill and may not live much longer. (Although one of his singular contributions—admitting, in a February 2013 conversation with Argentine Jewish leaders, that Iran was responsible for the AMIA bombing—was fortunately captured on tape as part of Nisman’s See Argentina bombing on page 21

Light over might, the ultimate ray of optimism tehilla r. goldBerg View from central park

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or eight days, at twilight, we will be kindling in the darkness, our windows ablaze in light. Since we were very little, we were raised with the idea that we light chanukiot to publicize the miracle that the Maccabees encountered in Jerusalem so long ago. When the sages of the Talmudic era debated the essence of the holiday, while crafting rituals to memorialize the miracles for future generations, they emphasized the miracle of light versus the miracle of might. Only if one eats bread and is thus required to recite the long Grace after Meals, including the “Al ha-Nissim” Chanukah reference, does one encounter the miraculous victory in battle. Only in the Birkat Hamazon is this aspect of the holiday addressed. The battle is rooted in historic fact, yet the rabbis chose to de-emphasize war — the might of man. Instead, they chose to highlight (pardon the pun) the dispelling darkness with light. Mai Chanukah? is the Talmudic question. What, exactly, is Chanukah? What is its character? How should it be remembered?

What is the meaning of illuminating the dark streets of winter with a blazing menorah on a final night of Chanukah? It’s an expression of being in sync with nature. It is as if we are validating the natural world, saying, yes, by all means, keep adding more light, we are with you, we too are adding more light to the world. We are one with nature. But lighting up the darkness cannot be taken for granted. It can be such a difficult thing to do. What if your miracle didn’t come? What if it really is just plain unrelenting heavy darkness? What, then? It’s easy to say, just light a candle; it’s a different story to find the wherewithal and do what it takes to kindle the darkness with light. n lighting a candle in the dark, a person is making the most optimistic statement. When there is darkness, when there is bitter cold with no heat or warmth, a candle is a symbolic way of transcending those difficulties. It’s lighting your own light, your own miracle, when there is none found to publicize. It’s a way of adding your light and hoping it generates a new miracle.

I

In a sense that is what we are celebrating, because that is precisely what Judah the Maccabee himself did. His choice to sanctify the Temple was a human attempt to rekindle darkness. Instead of waiting for a miracle, he took the human initiative to change the course of history. Sometimes, if you want the light, the heat, the sun, you need to kindle it yourself. Achieving this act of affirmation within darkness can be the essence of the light itself. In the language of the House of Hillel, whose custom we follow in lighting the Chanukah menorah, we are mosif ve-holech, we increase one light a night, until the culmination of a blazing menorah on the eighth day of Chanukah. Sometimes lighting just one candle at a time is the miracle that keeps a person going. When I think of lighting the Chanukah candles, I always think of those dedicated Jews who risked their lives in the Holocaust to light the menorah. At that time, kindling a Chanukah menorah in the thick and paralyzing darkness of the Holocaust must have meant something different

instead of waiting for a miracle, Judah took the initiative to change the course of history.

to them than it meant for Judah Maccabee, or for us. Their miracle never came. But they lit it. And in some way, their flame touched the flame of Judah Maccabee and in some way their flame touches ours, yours and mine, when we stand by the radiating menorah. Despite the profound and shattering pain, no greater expression of human, Jewish, affirmation during the war could be found. Lighting a candle for a miracle long ago, while they were in their own world of darkness, in real time, when miracles never came. Lighting a candle in the light does not really have definition or purpose. But summoning the courage to light a candle in the darkness of the Holocaust and to publicize an ancient miracle, now that is a miracle. That is the miracle of the Jewish people: persecution after persecution, attack after attack, generation after generation, retaining a lit candle, sometimes dim, almost fading, but keeping an ember alive, and radiating light and hope, instead of closing down and fading away. This is Chanukah. Whether the miracle or the redemption arrives or not, our wicks keep burning and illuminating, breathing life, warmth and spark into the colder spells of our lives, of our history, of the world. One candle at a time. Copyright Intermountain Jewish News


A Chanukah message: no religious corruption A

fter their glorious victory and rededication of the Temple, the Hasmoneans established the holiday of Chanukah to be celebrated by Jews for all future generations. The festival of lights is an occasion for thanksgiving to G-d, celebration of Jewish pride, remembrance of the importance of religious freedom. It wasn’t too long, though, before this great spiritual and military victory lost its luster. The Hasmoneans, a priestly family, set themselves up as kings. Once they centralized so much power in themselves, corruption soon set in. Their “kings” became ruthless despots; the high priesthood became a political prize going to the highest bidder. Although the original spirit of Chanukah managed to survive, the actual state of Jewish religion and spirituality was severely compromised under Hasmonean rule. There is an ongoing lesson in this story. When authority is centralized in a few hands, this often results in corruption and spiritual deterioration. The few in power become arrogant and greedy. They feel that they can do what they want, and force others to comply. They come to think that they are above the law. This lesson applies not merely to the world of politics, but to the world of religion. It is especially poisonous when religious and political

THE JEWISH STAR December 15, 2017 • 27 Kislev 5778

Rabbi maRc d. angel

power become intertwined. How painful it is to read of the ugly political maneuvering of “religious” parties in Israel. How frustrating it is to read of “religious” authorities — who are quick to assert their own power and who delegitimize others — who betray the ideas and ideals of Torah through their perverse, illegal and immoral behavior. How unfortunate it is that the Orthodox “rabbinic establishment” in Israel and the diaspora is viewed by so many as being insensitive, obscurantist and even hypocritical and dishonest. The lesson of Chanukah is that religion and spirituality need to rise above petty politics. The light of Torah is not spread through arrogant, selfrighteous authoritarianism, it is not spread by those who usurp power and who think they are above the law. As the prophet Zechariah taught (and as we read in the haftarah last Shabbat): “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.” We need to re-focus on the spirit and righteousness of Torah, on the light of Torah that enhances life and reflects love and compassion to all. We need to resist religious coercion and authoritarianism, and to understand that the power of Torah is in its wisdom and mitzvoth. As we observe Chanukah, let us remember that true religion is not found among those who seek might and power, but in those who sincerely seek the Spirit of the L-rd. Let us be sure that we are among the latter. Rabbi Angel is interim spiritual leader of the Lido Beach Synagogue and rabbi emeritus of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in Manhattan.

21

in the Jerusalem hills near Beit Shemesh

Religion and spirituality need to rise above petty politics.

Continued from page 18 The brothers’ descent to Egypt leads to the eventual servitude of the Jews in Egypt which itself leads to the Exodus which leads to the giving of the Torah and the Ten Commandments and the Jews’ eventual return to the land of Israel — because it’s all part of Hashem’s plan. Perhaps Joseph realizes: that pit was not a setback at all, it was all part of the journey. That pit was what allowed Joseph not just to stand before Pharaoh, but to stand before him with humility, which was probably why he was appointed viceroy. ometimes we find ourselves in the pit of life, and things seem to be headed in the wrong direction. But there is always a bigger picture, we just don’t usually get to see it. And though it may seem the wrong direction to us, Hashem is a pretty good navigator, and if we wait long enough, sometimes we get a glimpse of where that journey is really taking us. They had told me, just before dismissing

S

me, that although normally when a cadet is dismissed from Officer’s course he is never allowed to return (having been found unworthy), in my case, I would be allowed to repeat the entire course form the beginning, but I had only until Sunday morning to decide. In that moment I could not imagine doing it all over again. But after a tortuous weekend, I decided I had to try if only to not spend the rest of my life thinking “I should have.” Which was why, four months later, I found myself, nearly two years after first donning an IDF uniform, on the parade ground on that same base in the Negev desert, this time under a bright sun, squinting up at Moshe Levy, the IDF Chief of staff, as I received my lieutenant’s bars at last. It would take a while longer, on a lonely stretch of road in Lebanon, before I finally started to glimpse why I needed those extra months in Officer’s training and why sometimes “good” is not good enough. But then, that’s another story. Shabbat shalom from Jerusalem.

Argentina bombing... Continued from page 20 evidence.) As for the others on Bonadio’s list, many of them could end up serving lengthy prison sentences, thus delivering a modicum of justice to the AMIA victims and their families after 23 years of agony. Of course, the real prize here—the convictions of the Iranians and their Hezbollah allies who planned and executed the bombing—remains more unattainable than ever. Former Iranian President Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, at whose home the plan to bomb AMIA was approved, is dead. So is Imad Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah leader wanted by Interpol, who

was killed by a car bomb in Beirut in 2008. As for those who remain with us, they remain, as well, under Iran’s protection. What has emerged from the AMIA tragedy, at long last, are three indisputable truths. First, that Iran was responsible for the bombing. Second, that Kirchner, Timerman and their collaborators willfully conspired to cover this up. Third, that a good and decent man paid with his life for efforts to establish the truth about the criminality that collusion with Iran inevitably brings. Is that justice? For now, it’s the best we are going to get. Ben Cohen’s column is distributed by JNS.

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The JEWISH STAR

CAlendar of Events

Send your events to Calendar@TheJewishStar.com • Deadline noon Friday • Compiled by Zachary Schechter Iyun Tefilah: [Weekly] Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum at the Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst. 9:45 am. 8 Spruce St, Cedarhurst. Learn Maseches Brachos: [Weekly] Join Rabbi Eliyahu Wolf at the YI of Woodmere for a shiur on Maseches Brachos. 5:15 pm. 859 Peninsula Blvd, Woodmere. 516-295-0950. Halacha Shiur: [Weekly] Join Rabbi Yoni Levin at Aish Kodesh for a halacha shiur. 9:30 pm. 894 Woodmere Pl, Woodmere.

Chanukah in Cedarhurst Menorah Lighting: Join community leaders and dignitaries as they lead the Menorah lighting ceremony every evening of Chanukah, from Tuesday Dec 12 through Tuesday Dec. 19. Cedarhurst Park. 6 pm (Friday: 3:30 pm). 257 Cedarhurst Ave, Cedarhurst.

Thursday December 14

Parsha Shiur: [Weekly] Join Michal Horowitz at the YI of Woodmere for a special shiur on the parsha. 9:30 am. 859 Peninsula Blvd, Woodmere. 516-295-0950.

Friday December 15

Erev Shabbos Kollel: [Weekly] Eruv Shabbos Kollel starting with 6 am Chassidus shiur with

Rav Moshe Weinberger and concluding with 9 am Chevrusah Learning session with Rabbi Yoni Levin. 894 Woodmere Pl, Woodmere.

Saturday December 16

Motzei Shabbos Learning Program: Join Yeshiva of South Shore for a night of learning and entertainment by Rabbi Yitzie Ross. 6:30-7:45 pm. 1170 William St, Hewlett. From Avot to Matan Torah: Join Rabbi Dr. Ari Bergman at YI of Woodmere for a lecture series titled “From the Avot to Mattan Torah: A Deeper Understanding of the Genesis of the Abrahamic Religions & of Our Mesorah.” 7:30 pm. 859 Peninsula Blvd, Woodmere. 516-295-0950.

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5 Towns conferenc e with joy to sustai told: Deliver Torah n the next genera tion note remarks that nual Five Towns opened the fourth antive Conference Community Collaboraon Sunday. “What is the Torah the kids need now?” he asked. “What necessarily work worked in 1972 won’t today.” Rabbi Weinberg d’asrah of Congregaer, founding morah tion Aish Kodesh Woodmere and in mashpia at YU, the parents and reminded that Torah will educators in attendance not be received if it’s not

passed down according to the middah the time, emphasiz of ingredent needed ing that the primary in today’s chinuch simcha. is Twenty-six speakers, rebbetzins, educators including rabbis, , community ers and lecturers leadsue that challengeeach addressed a key isfamilies and schools in frum communi ties. The event, the Young Israel hosted at of Woodmere, was orgaSee 5 Towns hosts on page 15

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Kessler

By Celia Weintrob Photos by Doni Kessler

While Torah is way for the mesorahforever true, the ideal to be conveyed children — and how an everlastin to our of Torah and g love Yiddishkeit is embedde their beings — d in changes “You’re still talking over time. about what for you in 1972 and insisting thatworked what should work that’s Moshe Weinberg for your kid,” Rabbi er, Shila”a, said in key-

• Five Towns candles

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Rabbi Moshe Weinberger, of Kodesh in Woodmere Congregati , delivered keynote on Aish speech.

7:53 • Torah columns

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech Presenting their topics, from left: Baruch Fogel of Rabbi Touro College, “Motivating our children to motivate themselves ”; Reb-

• 24 Elul 5777

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The JEWISH • Sept. 15, 2017

betzin Shani Taragin, Tanach coordinator and mashgicha ruchanit at Midreshet rah V’avodah, “Miriam: Meyaledet, ToMei-

nika, and Morah”; Rabbi Ephraim Congregation Polakoff, Bais Tefilah, “Teens and technology: What you know and what you

don’t”; Rabbi Jesse Horn of Yeshivat kotel, “Helping Hachildren balance and pleasure”; Esther Wein, “Howideology to rec-

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tice?”; Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum d’asra, Young , mora Israel of Lawrence-C darhurst, “Raising esuccessful children”; Rebbetzin Lisa Septimus, yoetzet hala-

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Cedarhurst remembers

Star the loss, By The Jewish to remember Cedarhurst pausedmiracles of 9/11, at the the on Sunday. the heroism, and commemoration Schachter village’s annual n, Rabbi Shay In his invocatio the Young Israel of Woodof the Master and (top right photo) pray that G-d, all the strength mere said, “we world, grant us Creator of the to stand firm together against of and the fortitude of extremism, of bigotry, all forms of terror, and of all evil that can be hatred, of racism, forms in our world.” who found in different obligation to those “We have a solemn on Sept. 11th to never injured Benjamin died or were ,” said Mayor forget what happened“We saw evil, but we also Weinstock (bottom). America.” saw the best of n (middle), a 9/11 survivor re78,” of Ari Schonbur Fate “Miracle and was waitand author of es that day. He called his experienc on the 78th floor when elevators ing to change hit. nt Chief the first plane st Fire Departme Lawrence-Cedarhur during the playing of saluting David Campell, 9/11 victims. names of local Taps, read the

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‘InvestFest’ fair

“Torat Emet ,” the first is shiva University Truth.” in to an Star — we believe investiture speech By The Jewish in of Yeshiva UniversiDelivering his at YU’s Wilf Campus The fifth president on Sunday Berman, said assembly of 2,000 on Heights, with many ty, Rabbi Dr. Ari values that personify Ye, Washingt in by livestream that of the “five more listening spoke of the Rabbi Berman five central the or “Five Torot, institution.” teachings, of our believe in Tor“We do not just Chayyim — Torat at Emet but also and values must that our truths he said. live in the world,” teachings, YU’s other central Adam,” “Torat he said, are “Torat Tziyyon, the Chesed,” and “Toraton.” Torah of Redempti formal cereFollowing the community parmonies, the YU st” street fair at an “InvestFe Am- tied Amsterdam Avenue. t” street fair on 11 was a along at the “InvestFes See YU on page

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Britain Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn— who in 2009 called Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends” — said he would not attend a dinner commemorating the centennial of the Balfour Declaration. Prime Minister Theresa May she would attend “with pride” and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu would be her guest. “We are proud of the role we played in the creation of the State of Israel and we will certainly mark the centenary with pride,” May said. “I am also pleased that good trade relations and other relations that we have with Israel we are building on and enhancing.”

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IsraAID brings relief to U.S. disasters

• Vol 16, By Ron Kampeas, JTA Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, page and 19 WASHINGTON — For 17 years, the then the wildfires inlah 9:15 • Luach pm, Havda northern California. Israeli NGO IsraAID has been perform- ng 8:07 Polizer recalls that he was wrapping elighti Candl ing search and rescue,Towns purifying water, up a visit to IsraAID’s new American 5777 • Fivemedical assistance headquarters providing Tamuz, emergency in Palo Alto on Oct. 8 and 2017 • 20 and walking victims of trauma back to was on his way to a flight to s • July 14, Mexico to psychological health in dozens of disas- oversee operations after a devastating Parsha Pincha ter-hit countries. earthquake there when he got word of But no season has been busier than the wildfires. “I literally had to do a Uthis past summer and fall, its co-CEO Yo- turn,” he said this week in an interview tam Polizer said in an interview — and at the Israeli embassy in Washington. nowhere more than in the United States. Polizer spoke with the exhilaration “The last few months have been un- of an executive whose team has come believable,” he said, listing a succession through a daunting challenge. “We’re of disasters that occupied local staff and the people who stay past the ‘aid festiNiveen Rizkalla working with IsraAID in Santa Rosa, Calif., in volunteers since August: Hurricane Har- val’,” he said, grinning, describing the the wake of deadly wildfires there. vey in Texas, Hurricane Irma in Florida, See IsraAID on page 5

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Tuesday December 19

Women’s Shiur: [Weekly] Rebbetzin Weinberger of Aish Kodesh will give a shiur on the “Midah of Seder in our Avodas Hashem.” 11 am. 894 Woodmere Pl, Woodmere. Jewish History: [Weekly] Jewish History talk by Rabbi Evan Hoffman at YI of Woodmere. 8:15 pm. 859 Peninsula Blvd, Woodmere. 516-295-0950. Halacha Shiur: [Weekly] Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff at YI of Woodmere halacha shiur. 8:40 pm. 859 Peninsula Blvd, Woodmere. 516-295-0950. Gemara Shiur: [Weekly] Gemara shiur with Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt at YI of Woodmere. 9:15 pm. 859 Peninsula Blvd, Woodmere. 516-295-0950.

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Timely Tanach: [Weekly] Join Rabbi Ya’akov Trump of the Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst for a shiur on Sefer Shoftim. 8 pm. 8 Spruce St, Cedarhurst.

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Timely Torah: [Weekly] Join Rabbi Ya’akov Trump, assistant rabbi of the Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst, for a shiur on relevant Halachic and philosophical topics related to Parsha Moadim and contemporary issues. Coffee and pastries. 8 am. 8 Spruce St, Cedarhurst. Learning Program: [Weekly] At Aish Kodesh led by Rav Moshe Weinberger following 8:15 Shacharis including 9 am breakfast and shiurim on subjects such as halacha, gemara and divrei chizuk. 894 Woodmere Pl, Woodmere. Chabad Chanukah Experience: Chabad of the Five Towns invites all kids to participate in a fun Chanukah candle-making activity. 10-11:30 am. 74 Maple Ave, Cedarhurst. 516-295-2478. Torah 4 Teens: [Weekly] Yeshiva program for high-school age boys and young adults with Rabbi Matis Friedman. 9:15 am to 12:30 pm. 410 Hungry Harbor Rd, Valley Stream. Torah4teens5T@ gmail.com Gemara Shiur: [Weekly] Join Rabbi Moshe Sokoloff at the YI of Woodmere for a gemara shiu.r 9:15 am. 859 Peninsula Blvd, Woodmere. 516-295-0950. Finding Your Own Chanukah Miracle: Women in the community are invited to join Sheefa for a Chanukah shiur by Ms. Chevi Garfinkel titled “Finding Your Own Chanukah Miracle.” 10:15 am. $10. 894 Woodmere Pl. 516-6-SHEEFA. Glow Night: Join the community for a night of music, dancing and food at Cedarhurst Park with gifts for all kids. Following the 6 pm candle lighting. 257 Cedarhurst Ave, Cedarhurst. Women’s Shiur: [Weekly] Dr. Anette Labovitz’s women shiur will continue at Aish Kodesh. 10 am. 894 Woodmere Pl, Woodmere. Chabad Chanukah Experience: Chabad of the Five Towns invites all kids to participate in a fun latka and donut making activity. 10-11:30 am. 74 Maple Ave, Cedarhurst. 516-295-2478. Seeing Things Clearly: [Weekly] Rabbi Shalom Yona Weis shiur for women and HS girls at Aish Kodesh: “Seeing Things Clearly, Learning to View Our World and Our Lives Through Positive Lenses. 8:45 pm. 894 Woodmere Pl, Woodmere.

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t was a minor news story when it broke in the summer of 2016. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced he was suing Great Britain over the Balfour Declaration, issued on Nov. 2, 1917. But as we observe the centennial of the document this week, it’s important to understand that although his lawsuit was a stunt, Abbas was serious. More than that, the symbolism of his See Tobin on page 22

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or the Palestinians, the year zero is not 1948, when the state of Israel came into being, but 1917, when Great Britain issued, on Nov. 2, the Balfour Declaration—expressing support for the establishment of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine. So central is the Balfour Declaration to Palestinian political identity that the “Zionist invasion” is officially deemed to have begun in 1917—not in 1882, when the first trickle of Jewish pioneers from Russia began arriving, nor in 1897, when the Zionist movement held its first congress in Basel, nor in the late 1920s, when thousands of German Jews fleeing the rise of Nazism chose to go to Palestine. The year 1917 is the critical date because that is when, as an anti-Zionist might say, the Zionist hand slipped effortlessly into the British imperial glove. It is a neat, simple historical proposition upon which the entire Palestinian version of events rests: an empire came to our land and gave it to foreigners, we were dispossessed, and for five generations now, we have continued to resist. Moreover, it is given official sanction in the Palestine National Covenant of 1968, in which article 6 defines Jews who “were living permanently in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion” as “Palestinians”—an invasion that is dated as 1917 in the covenants’ notes. As the Balfour Declaration’s centenary approached, this theme is much in evidence. There is now a dedicated Balfour Apology See Cohen on page 22

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Analysis by Andrew Tobin, JTA JERUSALEM —Amid the global controversy over President Donald Trump’s recognition last week of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, Israeli and Palestinian leaders actually found rare consensus: They agreed that the development was a win for Israel and a loss for the Palestinians. To be sure, Trump’s concession was not a major one. Israel was always expected to get a recognized capital in Jerusalem under any Middle East peace deal, and the president did not reject Palestinian claims to have their capital in the city, too. However, the change in two decades of American policy on Jerusalem cemented the impression on both sides that the United States was tilting toward Israel. With Trump’s team working on a peace deal, Israeli and Palestinian leaders debated how his decision would affect the effort. The Israelis said their country still wants peace and Trump was only recognizing the obvious: Israel already controls all of Jerusalem, has treated it as its capital for 69 years and was never going to settle for anything less than an acknowledgement that Jerusalem is its capital. Whether the Palestinians can also claim parts of Jerusalem as their capital remains an open question, but that was always one of the so-called “final-status issues” at the heart of negotiations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday during a visit with French President Emanuel Macron that Jerusalem was as much Israel’s capital as Paris was France’s, and that recognition of this fact was necessary for peace. “I think that what peace requires is to be built on the foundation of truth, on the facts of the past and on the present,” Netanyahu said. “This is the only way that you can build a pluralistic and successful future.” More important, Israeli leaders contended, Trump gave the Palestinians a long overdue reality check. They said the president showed that he would not indulge the Palestinians’ attempts to deny Israel’s existence.

Haley: Trump move good for peace U.S. ambassador to the U.N Nikki Haley told a Security Council meeting on Friday that “the prospect of peace is advanced, not set back,” by President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement. “For nearly 70 years, Jerusalem has been the capital of the state of Israel” and U.S. recognition was based on “common sense,” Haley said. She spoke of the Jewish people’s attachment to Jerusalem “through 3,000 years of exile,” calling Jews “patient.” Haley attacked the singling out of Israel at the United Nations, saying that the world body has “done much more damage for the prospects of peace than to advance it.” She added: “The United States no longer stands by when Israel is unfairly attacked in the United Nations. And the United States will not be lectured to by countries that lack any credibility when it comes to treating both Israelis and Palestinians fairly.”

Netanyahu made that equation explicit in a meeting Monday with European foreign ministers in Brussels. He likened the Palestinians’ opposition to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital with their refusal to accept the existence of a Jewish state, which he has long maintained was the primary obstacle to peace.

Palestinian leaders, meanwhile, accused Israel of having no interest in making peace on terms they could ever accept. By giving Israel something it wants for free, they suggested, Trump signaled that he would not even try to oppose its continued settlement of eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank, which they said has made nearly impossible

the creation of the state the Palestinians demand as part of a peace deal. They said Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel showed once and for all that the United States was not an honest broker for peace. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement Friday that the United States was no longer fit to oversee the peace process. The next day, Abbas’ diplomatic affairs adviser confirmed that the president canceled plans to meet with Vice President Mike Pence this month in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority’s de facto capital in the West Bank, because of the announcement on Jerusalem. Palestinian leaders warned that with the twostate solution no longer viable, their people would turn to violence. The Palestinian Authority urged protests, and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas called for a new intifada, or uprising — granted, a call they make habitually. A series of rockets was launched at southern Israel from Gaza, where Hamas governs. However, by Tuesday, the status quo seemed to remain in effect. To ease pressure on Trump over his Jerusalem announcement, Netanyahu quietly delayed the final votes, slated for this week, on a bill that would make it harder for Israel to hand over any part of the city under a future peace deal, Israel’s Hadashot TV news reported Saturday. Pleased but not ecstatic over Trump’s decision, Israelis continued their daily routines. In eastern Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank, a wave of Palestinian demonstrations petered out and schools and businesses that had closed reopened. Abbas’ foreign affairs adviser on Sunday clarified to The Times of Israel that the Palestinians had no plans to cut ties with the United States. “We are not cutting our relationship with America. We are protesting the move of Mr. Trump,” Nabil Shaath said. “We think Mr. Trump has acted in a way that makes it impossible for the United States to act as an honest broker. We are just expressing that.”

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note remarks that opened the fourth While Torah is nual an- passed down way for the mesorahforever true, the ideal tive Five Towns Community Collaboraaccording Conference on to be conveyed the time, emphasizing to the middah of children — and Sunday. “What is the Torah how an everlastingto our that the primary of Torah and the kids need now?” ingredent needed in Yiddishkeit is embeddedlove he asked. “What today’s chinuch simcha. their beings — worked in 1972 is in necessarily changes won’t work today.” Twenty-six speakers, “You’re still talking over time. Rabbi Weinberger, about what rebbetzins, educators, including rabbis, for you in 1972 and insisting thatworked d’asrah of Congregationfounding morah ers and community leadwhat should work lecturers that’s Woodmere Aish Kodesh in and mashpia at sue that challengeeach addressed a key isMoshe Weinberger, for your kid,” Rabbi the YU, reminded families and parents Shila”a, said in key- that Torah and educators in attendance frum communities. The event, schools in will not be received the Young Israel hosted at of Woodmere, if it’s not was orgaSee 5 Towns Rabbi Moshe hosts on page Weinberger, of 15 Kodesh in Woodmere, Congregation Aish delivered keynote

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t was a minor news story when it broke in the summer of 2016. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced he was suing Great Britain over the Balfour Declaration, issued on Nov. 2, 1917. But as we observe the centennial of the document this week, it’s important to understand that although his lawsuit was a stunt, Abbas was serious. More than that, the symbolism of his See Tobin on page 22

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or the Palestinians, the year zero is not 1948, when the state of Israel came into being, but 1917, when Great Britain issued, on Nov. 2, the Balfour Declaration—expressing support for the establishment of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine. So central is the Balfour Declaration to Palestinian political identity that the “Zionist invasion” is officially deemed to have begun in 1917—not in 1882, when the first trickle of Jewish pioneers from Russia began arriving, nor in 1897, when the Zionist movement held its first congress in Basel, nor in the late 1920s, when thousands of German Jews fleeing the rise of Nazism chose to go to Palestine. The year 1917 is the critical date because that is when, as an anti-Zionist might say, the Zionist hand slipped effortlessly into the British imperial glove. It is a neat, simple historical proposition upon which the entire Palestinian version of events rests: an empire came to our land and gave it to foreigners, we were dispossessed, and for five generations now, we have continued to resist. Moreover, it is given official sanction in the Palestine National Covenant of 1968, in which article 6 defines Jews who “were living permanently in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion” as “Palestinians”—an invasion that is dated as 1917 in the covenants’ notes. As the Balfour Declaration’s centenary approached, this theme is much in evidence. There is now a dedicated Balfour Apology See Cohen on page 22

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Corbyn boycotts B’four event

Britain Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn— who in 2009 called Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends” — said he would not attend a dinner commemorating the centennial of the Balfour Declaration. Prime Minister Theresa May she would attend “with pride” and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu would be her guest. “We are proud of the role we played in the creation of the State of Israel and we will certainly mark the centenary with pride,” May said. “I am also pleased that good trade relations and other relations that we have with Israel we are building on and enhancing.”

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IsraAID brings relief to U.S. disasters By Ron Kampeas, JTA WASHINGTON — For 17 years, the Israeli NGO IsraAID has been perform-

Parsha Pinchas

• July 14,

Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and then the wildfires in northern California. Polizer recalls that he was wrapping ing search and rescue, purifying water, up a visit to IsraAID’s new American providing emergency medical assistance headquarters in Palo Alto on Oct. 8 and and walking victims of trauma back to was on his way to a flight to Mexico to psychological health in dozens of disas- oversee operations after a devastating ter-hit countries. No 25 earthquake there when he got word of • Vol 16, But no season has been busier than the wildfires. “I literally had Luach page 19 9:15 • to do a Uthis past summer and fall, its co-CEO Yo- turn,” he said Havdalah this week in an interview 8:07 pm, tam Polizer said in an interview — and ting Candleligh at the Israeli embassy in Washington. Towns nowhere more than in the United States. Polizer spoke with the exhilaration 5777 • Five Tamuz, “The last few months have been un- of an executive whose team has come 2017 • 20 believable,” he said, listing a succession through a daunting challenge. “We’re of disasters that occupied local staff and the people who stay past the ‘aid festivolunteers since August: Hurricane Har- val’,” he said, grinning, describing the vey in Texas, Hurricane Irma in Florida, See IsraAID on page 5

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