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A Weekly Link Supplement

Vol. 1 Issue 12 / Dec. 3, 2019





Dec. 3, 2019


TABLE of CONTENTS Publisher The Weekly SOB, SOB!Link Teach your Phone children to laugh 347.787.1838 at their terrible predicaments  Fax



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Professional resume 1303 53rd St. writer shares some Suite #125 guidelines  11219 12 Brooklyn NY

Easy supper to greet your kids with  19

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TRAINING Link Plus assumes no GROUND  26 responsibility for the content CREATIVE CREATIONS 31 2|


New! new & improved



Dec. 3, 2019



Based on the research done by Rabbi Efraim Luft


Ah, music! From the haunting, soulful tune of Kol Nidrei, the longing for deep connection expressed in the Baal Hatanya’s ‘daled bavos’, to the yearning, the ache of the soul conveyed through the tune of ‘kah echsof’, music connects us to deeper parts of ourselves, draws on hidden reservoirs of faith and strength and possesses mysterious, magical powers. Music allows us access to unknown wells of happiness, like the mystical, pulsating joy in the niggunim of Lag B’omer that overwhelm us with the ecstatic awareness of a Truth much greater than ourselves. Alas, music is but a double-edged sword. While music possesses the ability to uplift and inspire, music can just as well corrupt, unleash base desires and wreak havoc and destruction. In the following lines we read about music’s potent powers and pitfalls.

Rabbi Efraim Luft from B’nei Brak is a Yid on a mission. Blessed with a keen understanding of music and its powers, he researches and then explains the wonderful, far-reaching effects of positive music and on the opposite end, the damaging effects of music traced to negative sources.

Our Gedolim and Music In Rabbi Luft’s book ‘The Torah is not Hefker’ he quotes our holy sefarim, about the power and influence that music wields over us. He writes that when Reb Boruch Ber Leibowitz zatzal used to compose songs to words of tefillos and pesukim, he would bring them to his Rebbe, Reb Chaim Brisker zatzal for his approval, to determine if the tunes were suitable for the holy words. Our gedolim understood music’s enormous impact and used

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it with caution. Interestingly, Rabbi Luft notes that the Ashkenazic Gedolim living in Europe, did not write much about the negative influence of music. The reason being, he explains, that the music in Europe up until the twentieth century was respectable and generally clean. The music in Arabic countries did possess unrefined elements and therefore the Sephardic Rabbanim did caution against them (as found in the sefer Kaf Hachaim from Reb Chaim Palagi). However, in the twentieth century, music in Europe and the US took a turn for the worse. Jazz and rock 'n roll originating from a particularly sinister form of African music made their raucous appearance and stole the hearts and minds of the youth. This new style of music effected profound change; ideologically, emotionally and even on a biological level.


The Far Reaching Effects of Music In his book “The Mozart Effect”, Don Campbell found that wild rock music has a serious influence on the heartbeat and surmised that this was the cause for many rock musicians dying young from heart attacks. Rock music causes high blood pressure and negatively impacts digestion. Bob Larson, a former rock guitarist, in conjunction with a physicist contends that the vibrations and beats of the guitar and drum have a decided effect on the cerebral spinal fluid. The fluid then affects the pituitary gland which directs the secretion of hormones. The hormones secreted under such conditions produce radical changes in the blood sugar and calcium of the body. Since the brain is nourished through blood sugar, it ceases to function properly and causes one to lose control over oneself. While the negative effects of music are harmful, Rabbi Luft explains


that the organized, harmonious sounds of classical music possesses the amazing ability to nurture, stimulate growth and to promote progress.

Growth Through Sound A farmer in the South of England grew giant tomatoes by placing headphones on them that played the music of Mozart and Bach. An intense series of studies carried out by Dorothy Retallack of Denver, Colorado showed similar outcomes. Three hours a day of exposure to acid rock music stunted and damaged squash plants, philodendrons and corn in a short time period of under four weeks. Petunias hearing semiclassical music bloomed beautifully and leaned toward the source of the sounds. Petunias exposed to rock music leaned away from the source of sound, showed erratic growth and within a month, they all died. Dorothy’s other experiments produced similar results and she wondered ‘If rock music has an adverse effect on plants, is the music listened to by the young

Vintage Voices S. ROSENFELD

My grandson came in to show me his new Sansa MP3 player. It’s a little gadget, approximately the size of my husband’s car remote, and he claims that he has thousands of songs, from hundreds of artists downloaded onto it. In my childhood days there weren’t thousands of heimishe songs nor were there hundreds of singers, but if there had been, you would have needed a room full of shelves to store the phonograph records with which you played the music. Join me as I go down memory lane… • We listened to our music on a record player, which consisted of a turntable, and an arm whose needle followed the grooves in the record, producing the sound. When placing the needle on the record, you had to be careful not to scratch it, or you would end up with the needle repeatedly going over the same grooves. (In case you’re wondering, that’s where the phrase “she sounds like a broken record” originated.) The needle itself was very fragile and prone to breakage, and a replacement Dec. 3, 2019

was very expensive. I think a new needle, which we bought in the local toy store, cost a whole dollar. Record players were sometimes set into massive furniture pieces. Our neighbor had a beautiful piece in her living room, which she covered with a starched doily when not in use. In the mid 1950’s hi-fi (High fidelity) was introduced as an enhancement in sound. It was supposed to reproduce more closely the sound of live music as


generation partly responsible for their erratic, chaotic behavior?’ (‘Music that Kills Plants’ by T. Olga, Denver Post 21.6.70) Dr. Singh, head of the Botany Department at the Animalia University, India also conducted research on this topic. He found that while all classical music produced stunning effects of growth for plants, the violin was the most effective instrument in promoting growth. Furthermore, the seeds of the original plants that listened and blossomed due to the classical music carried on the improved traits of greater size, more leaves and other characteristics. Music had changed the plants’ chromosomes!

It Really Makes a Difference! David Merrell, a high school student from Virginia won top honors for his experiment with mice, a maze and music. David divided the mice into three groups and had the first group listen to classical music for ten hours a day, the second group listen to hard rock music and the control group listen to no music at all. Every day the mice navigated the maze three times. After three


weeks, he found that the mice that listened to classical music managed to cut eight and a half minutes off their time, the mice that listened to the hard rock music took twenty minutes longer to find their way through the maze and the control group was able to cut five minutes off their original time. David had to cut the experiment short because all the mice that listened to the hard rock music killed each other. (Washington Times, July 2, 1997) Rabbi Luft raises awareness about music’s profound positive and negative influences. He begs us to guard our kedusha by being very selective of the music we listen to. And while he mentions the positive effects of classical, organized music, there is no comparison to the awesome spiritual powers of the songs composed by holy Yidden, passed down through the generations, songs that inspire us and connect us to our true selves and ultimately to our True Source, Hashem. The information presented in this article was culled from Rabbi Luft’s book,’The Torah is not Hefker’. Rabbi Luft is a veritable fountain of information and inspiration regarding kosher music and can be contacted at [972] 03-6191973, 054-8460068.

played in a concert hall. Record players with separate speakers were then marketed as the best way to enjoy music in the comfort of your home. Another innovation was the stackable turntable, which allowed you to stack a few records and when one was finished the next record dropped down to be played. Reel-to-reel tape recorders were the next innovative players to hit the shelves. They were cumbersome, bulky contraptions that were difficult to use. Many a Bar Mitzvah boy, who asked his brother to record the speeches at his affair, was in for a disappointment. When he set replay to hear his Bar Mitzvah, no sound came out. Either the tape was threaded backwards (a common mishap) or the machine was not set properly. The cassette player, which we still see around today, was first produced in the middle 1960’s. One improvement that was welcomed by all was the option to use batteries instead of a plug, rendering the device portable. • Enter the digital age; first with Dec. 3, 2019

CD’s and then with the current (at least I think it’s current but I may be outdated by now) MP3’s. Whereas the original recordings were analog, today all music is produced digitally. This brings down the cost, of course, to the point that any day camp or kindergarten could afford to send home a disc with the songs that they sing. There is a difference though, in the quality of the music. Don’t ask me, with my tin ear, to explain, but I do know that there are mavens, record collectors who pay a lot of money when they get their hands on an unscratched original record. They claim that Chazzan Koussevitzky or Yossele Rosenblatt sound much better on the original 78 or 33 1/3 RPM record than on the newest, most sophisticated computer generated version of their songs! Music was always an integral part of Jewish life. As we enjoy today’s music let us always remember to daven that we should soon be zoche to hear the beautiful music of the Leviim in the rebuilt Bais Hamikdash! |9

Our Nation's Finest...


After having spent the day out running errands, I was making my way home when I spotted my neighbor Shaina on her front steps carrying on an agitated conversation on her phone while gesticulating wildly with her hands. As I neared her stoop, I saw that she’d hung up and so I asked Shaina, “Hi. What’s up?”

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She frantically points to the curb where in horror I see a burly Spanish man sprawled on the sidewalk next to our oak tree, halfway off the curb, with his glasses askew, his cap off, a rucksack some distance away, and his eyes closed! “You think he’s a drunkard that lay down here to sleep?” I ask hopefully, not wanting to consider other

possibilities. “I also thought of that at first,” replies Shaina, “but his awkward position, at this angle, with his stuff thrown about, suggests rather that he stumbled or collapsed. I called 911 as soon as I saw him, but can you believe that three quarters of an hour have gone by and they haven’t put in an appearance yet? It’s mind-boggling! I just called a second time and they said a paramedic was already dispatched and would be here momentarily.” Shaina was wringing her hands as she was relating the predicament, annoyed with the turn of events, to put it mildly. A Jewish soul with rachmanus coursing through her veins cannot fathom it any other way. As we are standing there debating what to do next, a paramedic pulls up at last, followed by a fire truck. Fire truck? Whatever, as long as the victim will receive proper care. We stand back at this point, and try to make out what the emergency personnel are saying. Is the guy even alive? It seems so. But we both are horrified at the lackadaisical atmosphere amongst the professional EMTs and firemen. About six of them are standing around the victim, all of them trained as first responders, yet they are cracking jokes and laughing raucously as they lift the guy off the floor in an apathetic manner. They literally throw him onto the stretcher as if he were a sack of potatoes being loaded onto a truck. Loud cackling laughter is heard as they pull away. In disbelief we witness a human

Dec. 3, 2019

being, somebody’s child, friend, father, brother or colleague, being handled so heartlessly, worse than a stray cat that needs to be taken to the shelter! “We don’t even know to appreciate Hatzola. Their members arrive in mere moments, and appropriate first class care to each and every victim without fail. Their royal treatment is bestowed with such compassion and professionalism, it rivals all others!” She formulates the very same words I’ve been thinking to myself and we part, both of us shaking our heads incredulously, saddened at the secular world’s value of a human life, or rather, lack thereof. I enter my front door and begin preparing dinner but the episode can’t leave my mind. I hum Yom Tov Ehrlich’s rendition of “Shelo asanu goy!” a classical Yiddish niggun I grew up on, as I juggle the routine tasks of setting the supper table. One by one, my children arrive home from school and yeshiva, throwing their backpacks on the hallway floor, and their mommy is still humming that song. In fact with time it only picks up momentum. Eventually one of them pipes up, “How come you’re singing that same song since we came home from school?” I give my family a rundown of what I had seen earlier in the day, injecting an extra measure of joy as I gather my kids in a circle. In genuine elation (and no small measure of bemusement on the less jovial family members) we do a spontaneous jig around the table to the tune of “Shelo asanu goy!”

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CREAMY MUSHROOM GNOCCHI An elegant Tuscan dish enjoyed all over the world in many variations. This is the Italian original. The garlic notes pair wonderfully with the earthy tones of the mushrooms. Ingredients: 1 pk frozen gnocchi 3 cloves garlic, crushed 4 fresh mushrooms, sliced

HOT SALTED CARAMEL DRINK An aromatic and cozy drink that will be a sure winner on those cold and long winter Motzei Shabosim. Looks and smells delicious but tastes even better!


Ingredients: 1 cup light brown sugar 2 tbsp water 2 cups heavy cream 1 cup milk 1/4 tsp salt (add only if you like salted caramel) 1 tsp vanilla extract

originated in the 1950s,

Directions: Place the brown sugar in a large sauté pan, add the water and turn the heat on medium bringing the sugar to a low boil, Allow the sugar to boil until it darkens to a deep brown and smells toasted (5-7 minutes). Slowly whisk in the heavy cream and milk, the sugar will boil up at first, then firm up, but will eventually loosen and blend into the cream. Add the salt and vanilla extract, stir and simmer another 2-3 minutes to thicken. Serve warm.


A cinch to make, yet delightful and indulging, a guilty pleasure enjoyed by young and old alike.

1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper oil for sautéing 2 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup milk Directions: Place oil in a medium pan on low. Add garlic and mushrooms, sauté until soft and browned. Add heavy cream and milk, bring to a low boil and cook until it thickens (about a half hour) Bring to a high boil, add the frozen gnocchi and cook for additional 5 minutes. Dec. 3, 2019

Half a bag frozen French fries 3 cups shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese Directions: Preheat oven to 425°. Deep fry the fries until crispy, then drain of the excess oil. Put in a small pan, mix 3/4 of the cheese with the fries, then add the rest on top of the fries, Bake for 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted. | 15



Black and white keys, A smooth and gentle flow. With ease and expertise, My beloved piano! Each gentle tender touch, Plays an important role. Each note adding so much, To this music of the soul. My heart bursts with love, For this perfect harmony. Keys below and above, A perfect symphony! Each key looks quite the same, Its color black or white. Yet I know each one by name, And keep them all in sight. Each one an equal part, Each one equally strong. Each one touches my heart, As it bursts into song!

Each one a unique treasure, That teaches me so much. A lesson that’s forever, With every key I touch! A song of hope and love, ‫ הקב"ה'ס‬symphony. A touch from above, My unique destiny! Each Yid a unique key, Of a chosen beloved nation. Singing in unity, A proud salutation. Each one forming the heart, Of ‫ל'ס‬-‫ כלל ישרא‬song. Each one an equal part, Each one equally strong! A song of ‫נחמה‬, ‫ אידן‬let’s be strong! Each and every ‫נשמה‬, Needed for this song!

The author can be contacted at: 914-299-5744 Dec. 3, 2019

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TRAINING GROUND by Chava Leah Beer

Recap: Shoshana contacts Mrs. Mermelstein, a close friend of the Roths’, as per Dr. Lowy’s suggestion. She is blown away by Reva Mermelstein’s idea to have Ayala treated with EMDR in England, with Shoshana accompanying her for moral support.

CHAPTER TWELVE The following evening found the Pressman home in turmoil. Grandma was recovering from her trip to the doctor, a standard checkup that had turned out to be far from routine. According to Shoshana’s mother’s account, she had thrown a tantrum when blood was drawn and was deeply insulted when the doctor refused to believe her report about

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the current state of her health. Even though she hadn’t accompanied them on this draining trip, Shoshana felt the aftershocks of the visit. Grandma was out of sorts. It took a great deal of cajoling to get her to eat dinner, wash up, and get ready for bed. Shoshana wondered if it was time to get an aide, a professional who could physically and emotionally handle her confused, weak, and often difficult grandmother. At last, the house was quiet. It was funny how for years this had been the regular volume in the house, a screeching silence that she wished would disappear. Now, when Grandma had retired, she relished in the stillness.

“Shoshana, you wanted to talk to me about something?” Mr. Pressman asked, heading to the couch. With tax season just around the bend, he was loaded down with work, but family always came first. “Yes, are you available?” Shoshana asked, eyeing the laptop he had next to him. “Sure. I can catch up on work later. Spill the beans.” Shoshana quickly father the story, beginning with her intuitive sense of PTSD and her consultation with Rebbetzin Thaler and concluding with her phone conversation with Reva Mermelstein.



But do you think I’m up to the task? Am I biting off more than I can chew?”

“This Mermelstein seems to be quite an intriguing woman,” her father commented. “One phone call, and she’s already flying two young women across the world! Who’s paying for this? And who says anyone agrees?”

“Ta, I felt the same way. That’s why I called Mrs. Roth. She’s taking a very hands-off stance and says she trusts Mrs. Mermelstein, so I should do my best to get this plan to work if I believe it will make a difference for her daughter.”

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out for lunch and broach the topic. She has a feeling Ayala will be amenable to the idea, as she’s clearly aware of the problem herself. As for the money, what if I ask Dr. Lowy to pay for Ayala’s traveling expenses? I have enough money saved up; it’s about time I used it for a worthy cause. Mrs. Mermelstein offered to host us and said she would take care of the EMDR sessions, though I don’t know about the therapy that will follow.” Her father nodded. “I must say I’m impressed by how you’re taking the bull by the horns. And asking Dr. Lowy isn’t a bad idea. Assuming Ayala will agree, when can you get an appointment with this therapist – what was her name again?”

“Donna Gartner. Honestly, I don’t know how soon we can get an appointment, but this Mermelstein woman seems like a toughie. I bet she can push her way in somehow.”

“And what about the girl herself? And the cost?”

There was a thoughtful lull in the conversation. Then Shoshana continued, “I’m sure the logistics can be easily worked out. Dr. Lowy will let me take off, since he’s just as keen as I am to help Ayala. But do you think I’m up to the task? Am I biting off more than I can chew?”

“Mrs. Roth suggested I take Ayala

Mr. Pressman scratched his head,

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“Which girl?” he said wryly, winking at his daughter. “I think both girls are bound to benefit from this adventure.”

then declared, “I don’t see any risks involved. You’re emotionally stable, so I don’t believe Ayala will do you any harm. In any event, I’m sure you’ll be communicating with this Diana…” Shoshana chuckled. Her father was a very wise man, but when it came to names and other trivia, his mistakes were often downright hilarious. “Princess Diana does come from England…” Chaim Pressman let out a hearty laugh. “And I don’t believe she’s available for consultations anymore…” “Right. So yes, I will be in touch with Donna Gartner, who will guide me through the process, telling me how to handle Ayala. Still, do you think it makes sense for me to travel across the ocean and spend three weeks there just for the sake of this girl?”

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“Which girl?” he said wryly, winking at his daughter. “I think both girls are bound to benefit from this adventure.” Shoshana hadn’t thought of it quite that way, but hey, there was always another way to view things. “It’s only three weeks, after all,” she said, suddenly looking at the situation from a new perspective. Somehow, after discussing it with her father, the trip that had loomed like a monstrous elephant took on the size of…well, not a mouse, but some medium-sized creature. Another concern entered her mind, and uncannily, her father picked up on the vibes. “I’ll tell Mommy about it, so you won’t have to be the one to cause her to run into a panic.” Shoshana smiled. “Thanks, Ta. I

appreciate that.” Ordinarily, this would not have been such a point of contention, but with Grandma around, every change in schedule left its mark; having Shoshana off the scene for several weeks was certain to elicit an intense reaction from her mother. As she got up to leave the room, Chaim said softly, “Good night, Shosh. You never know what fortune may lie buried in England. ‘Meshaneh makom meshaneh mazal’ – a change of location may open new, unexplored vistas for you.” Shoshana shrugged. She had tried practically every method at her disposal, both the practical and the esoteric, to find her elusive mate. She had met with shadchanim at singles’ events and had contacted professional matchmakers. A host of segulos, including giving generous donations to a plethora of tzedaka causes (now clogging her inbox, mailbox, and phone line), 40 days of Tehilim, reciting Shir Hashirim, and lighting candles in memory of various sages, had been her passion at a certain stage, but she’d grown out of it. This time, the purpose of her visit was purely altruistic. She wasn’t going to pin her hopes on her life changing at this point. “Thank you for listening, Ta, and for your words of wisdom.” Shoshana walked up the stairs to her room feeling lighter, ready to plan her next step. *** The first buds had made their appearance and the sun seemed to

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be smiling upon the earth on this day in mid-March. Shoshana felt a spring in her step as she enjoyed the milder weather arriving with unexpected haste upon the heels of a nasty winter. The outdoors beckoned, and it was with reluctance that she opened the door to the clinic. As she busied herself with the paperwork and setting up for the day, she couldn’t help but think about her plan to take Ayala out for lunch. Then again, perhaps supper would be more appropriate? Was half an hour enough? Who would be harder to negotiate with, Dr. Lowy or her mother? The doorbell buzzed, and in walked Ayala. “Good morning, Ayala!” Shoshana said cheerfully, eager to set the right tone to the day. “What do you say to the weather?” “Nice. It’s almost spring,” the girl said quietly. She was definitely more communicative than she’d been when she first arrived in the clinic several months earlier. Quickly, before she could lose her nerve, Shoshana said, “Ayala, since it’s so pleasant out, I was thinking of getting some fresh air at lunch today. Would you like to join me? I’d treat you to pizza or a bagel…” She studied Ayala’s face. The girl was obviously caught off guard. She looked both flattered and confused at once. “But why? It’s not my birthday or anything.” “Well, I do want to spend some time with you, and it’s such nice day out…”

To be continued…

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True Perfection

Little one, Today you are three weeks old Cradled in my arm’s hold Our eyes lock as I behold Your angelic face Wondering Pondering The miracle whom I embrace. Little one, Who? Planted jet-black hair Just where They belong Millions of them there Yet never escaping the hairline They stay Within unseen borders Like stormy ocean waves kept at bay. Who rolled your eyelids Ever so thinly, almost nothing at all Its blink A blanket of pink Lovingly caressing your eyeball With a kiss of its warm lips And the Artist did not Forget to tenderly dot Tiny lashes evenly throughout the tips. And when they rise, Unveiling your sunny eyes – Little one, Who? Artistically drew Marbles of hazel-blue Like freshly rinsed blueberries Against a backdrop of milky white Flecked with tiny capillaries Twinkling bright. And who chiseled two cute ears With marvelous precision And once again the Artist did not Fail to nail the exact spot The perfectly symmetrical position.

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Little one, Who painted your lips A vibrant shade of red Like mid-May tulips So perfectly exact. Executing a symphonized dance Suck-swallow-breathe-repeat Suck-swallow-breathe-repeat Never skipping a beat Like a well-rehearsed act. Isn’t it amazing How the lip color doesn’t leak Onto either cheek?

Wait, little one. That’s only your head. A fraction of the picture Of the masterpiece of the Sculptor. Wait yet again, He hasn’t pulled off this feat just this once. Nurseries the world over Are filled with tiny creatures With the same mind-blowing features Of this miraculous phenomenon. And you, my little one, The canvas on the Master Artist’s easel Recipient of the divine touch Of the skillful strokes of the heavenly brush... Little one, One day You will grow up And then I will teach you Who. Dec. 3, 2019

The author can be contacted at 347-452-9914

Wait, That’s just on the surface – The artwork of your face Is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Behind the soft and silky skin A hidden world is there. A mind-boggling work of art within Defying poetic flair.

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Baby Grand at Bubby's YEHUDIS SCHONFELD

In the corner of my grandparents’ living room stood a cherry mahogany baby-grand piano. She was humble and self-effacing, the piano, and graciously carried loads of framed wedding photos, albums and music books on her back. An embroidered floral cloth edged in thick beige fringes covered her shiny surface and she held (amongst all the photo frames), a tall bouquet of lush burgundy flowers and a stained glass peacock vase that threw colors when the sun peeked in through the windows. She was a beautiful, rich looking piece of furniture and the company name ‘Krakauer’ was written in small yellow-gold letters right over the lid. When opened, the heavy wooden lid revealed a long row of slender ivory and ebony keys that produced delicate, fine sounds. She was a fixed part of our childhood, as predictable as day. When we arrived to that island of serenity, otherwise known as ‘Zeidy and Bubby’s home’, we all made a beeline for the piano. We squeezed and pushed each other around on the upholstered piano bench and fought over who got to open the lid.

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We pounded away at the keys and let forth a cacophony of screeching, shrill noises accompanied by deep moans and groans. We slid our fingers over the smooth keys and produced sweeping do-re-mis (and mi-re-dos) in both directions. Those poor adults sitting on the couch and armchairs, trying to make conversation amongst the racket! But Zeidy and Bubby were convinced that we were little Mozarts, with great talent peeking out beneath all the clatter. After we got tired of the noise, we tumbled off the piano bench and ran to play with the toys in the other room, leaving the adults in blessed peace and quiet. Over the years, our music skills improved. From the banging noise, strains of ‘Od Yishama’, ‘V’sein Bonu’ and ‘Mary had a little lamb’, began to emerge. Some of us played music quite well, by ear. But none of us turned into the little Mozart Zeidy and Bubby were convinced we would become (at least, not yet.) The piano wasn’t just a piece of furniture, she was a piece of family history. Bubby’s mother,

Bubby Perel, was a talented pianist and bought this piano as a young married woman. For years her long, graceful fingers skillfully danced over the keys as she taught countless students how to play music. When Bubby Perel remarried, her new husband wanted to buy her a diamond ring. She told him that she preferred a Steinway Piano, over a ring. When Bubby Perel received her Steinway, she gifted her daughter (Bubby), with her original piano. Bubby reminisced that they were a young couple with no living room furniture, only a big baby grand that took up the whole corner of the empty room. Bubby Perel taught her daughter to play the piano when she was quite young. Bubby told us of her school performances where she was always stuck playing the music and could never join her peers on stage. The curly-haired, dark-skinned little girl resented the piano as she looked on longingly at her friends who seemed to have much more fun than her. To this day, Bubby only plays the piano occasionally with ‘Happy Birthday’ starring most of the time.

Dec. 3, 2019

The years moved along, yet the piano stood there with quiet dignity, waiting for us to pound out our music. Bubby expressed no judgement, raised no eyes in disapproval, never clucked her tongue when we went off tune and was just always so there and present. To me, the piano symbolized something greater than the beautiful piece of furniture that she was. To me, the piano was somewhat symbolic of the unconditional love and affection that our Zeidy and Bubby always had for us. In their eyes we could do no harm. All forms of raw, creative expression were seen for their great potential, and while they believed greatly in us, they never demanded that we excel. In their eyes we were already perfect. Their love for us, was and is, always predictable, constant and unwavering. In the landscape of my childhood memories, Bubby and Zeidy were a secure, steadfast, accepting presence in our lives. Just like the baby-grand piano in the corner of their living room.

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With C into th hanukah be in e much month, we g 25 days more “ have t oppor tunitie Kislev hype” hat ideas a s to co , and Tip #6 nd vacation llect party Look o will help yo activities. u next in ut for some get started more in . stallm ent! the


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Fabric softener has positively charged chemical lubricants that are attracted to your load of negatively charged clothes. These positive charges work in your favor when you want to get rid of the static cling on your computer screen that always attracts dust. Simply dampen a dust cloth with fabric softener straight from the bottle and dust as usual.

It’s a challenge to dry a freshly washed knit or cloth hat without ruining the shape. Try fitting the hat over an inflated balloon to retain the perfect fit. You’ll have to tape the balloon to a flat surface, such as a shelf or the dresser, to keep it from tipping over.



Not everyone is thrilled to find $300 worth of cash while cleaning for Pesach if it meant that they came up empty handed when they needed it. Keep cash or sensitive info handy and hidden by sticking them onto the fridge behind a large magnet. Make sure the bills are completely concealed by folding over edges that stick out. There when you need them… gone when you don’t.


Some things leave their mark forever, like the melted plastic from the bag of bagels that mistakenly lay too close to the toaster or sandwich maker when you hosted a luncheon three months ago. Looking to shatter that myth? Try wiping the melted mess with a little nail polish remover on a soft cloth. Once the plastic is removed, wipe off any remaining polish remover with a damp paper towel. Your appliance will be as good as new!

5 6 You took out a new steel wool pad yesterday, and now it’s sitting in the sink in a pool of rust. Next time you’re running low and want to preserve the pad of steel wool for a day or two, try storing it in a plastic bag between uses. It’ll keep it in shape for subsequent dish washing sessions.

Dec. 3, 2019

Here’s one for when the grandkids start whining or the kids complain that they are bored. Make homemade watercolor paint by combining 3 tablespoons each of cornstarch, baking soda, and vinegar with 1½ teaspoons light corn syrup. After the fizzing subsides, separate the mixture into several 1 oz. containers. Add 8 drops of food coloring to each batch, either of single colors or of combinations for different shades. (Gefen food coloring has instructions in the back for combinations of purple, orange, teal, mint and pink.) You can either let the kids dig in right away, or for a more manageable mess, wait until the paint hardens and have the kids wet the brushes before painting. | 27

A weekly exploration of natural An exploration of natural wonders wonders and man-made and man-made marvels marvels

This Week:

Balanced Rock

)‫י‬:‫" (בראשית כט‬...‫"ויגש יעקב ויגל את האבן מעל פי הבאר‬ Stones seem to be an ongoing theme in the beginning of this week’s parsha. First, Yaakov arranges stones around his head, as he prepares to sleep in the wilderness; then he places one stone as a memorial when he wakes up after his dramatic, prophetic dream; and finally, after arriving in Charan, he rolls a large stone off the mouth of the well, much to the amazement of the shepherds. Stones and rocks are part of almost every natural landscape, and people have found many creative uses for them over the centuries. In the above examples, they served as protection for Yaakov, as a memorial at a special location, and as a cover for a communal well. However, there are some incredible rock formations that seem to exist for the sole purpose of filling our hearts with awe. Balanced Rock

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Let’s look at Balanced Rock and some of the other remarkable sandstone formations around it.

Where is Balanced Rock located? Garden of the Gods is a park located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, about one hour south of Denver. The park contains several trails and parking areas amidst a collection of towering and fascinating red sandstone formations, including the very popular Balanced Rock. The land that most of the park sits on was purchased by Charles Elliot Perkins in 1879 and was later donated to the City of Colorado Springs upon his death in 1909, on condition that it would remain a free public park. Indeed, while visitors can purchase souvenirs or snacks, entrance to the park remains free today, even as it attracts over one million visitors each year!

Rock climbing is a popular sport among some adventurous souls, who like to challenge themselves with the difficult task of scaling massive rocks. Rock climbing requires incredible stamina and nerves of steel, as the climb is difficult and a glance to the ground below can induce terror in the faint of heart. Of course, professional rock climbers take many safety precautions and use special ropes, pitons, bolts, and other equipment to ensure their safety. Colorado Springs is one of the popular destinations for professional rock climbers, since some of the massive red sandstone rocks in the garden provide just the challenge these adventurers seek.

Is Balanced Rock truly unique? Two rock climbers scaling one of the massive rock walls One can find unusual rock formations that appear to defy the laws of physics in several places around the world. There are a handful of such rocks in Europe and Africa, though North America seems to have a few more than other continents. In fact, another popular balanced rock in the United States is Balanced Rock in Arches National Park in Utah. That rock is a staggering 128-feet tall(!) and was accompanied by a smaller Massive red sandstone rocks balancing rock that collapsed in the winter of 1975-1976. As the pedestal that this Balanced Rock sits on continues to Dec. 3, 2019

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erode, it is expected that it will eventually tumble down too. Despite similar formations in other places, Balanced Rock at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado continues to be widely popular, since it is one of the best examples of a balancing rock. The rock itself is quite large, rising 35 feet above its pedestal base and weighing about 1.4 million pounds! Yet, despite its size, it continues to balance precariously on an unusually narrow perch, to the amazement of the many people who come to view this natural marvel. No wonder that this impressive site is one of the favorite photo spots of visitors to Colorado Springs! In fact, some like to crouch in the narrow space beneath the rock, pretending to hold up the towering rock above them with their raised hands! Currently, despite anyone’s attempts to push or topple the rock as they pose for photos, Balanced Rock continues to sit firmly on its narrow base. However, this natural marvel will likely not last for many centuries, as wind and water will eat away at its base with time. Eventually, it may topple to the ground, meeting the same fate as the rock in Arches National Park.

What are some of the other rock formations in the garden? While Balanced Rock is one of the most recognized rock formations at the Garden of the Gods, the other incredible red sandstone rocks in the garden offer many more fascinating sights. Some are striking due to their massive size and some stand out because of their unusual shape. In fact, many of the uniquely-formed rocks have earned their own nicknames, inspired by their shape. One of the more popular ones is “The Siamese Twins,” which resembles two conjoined figures!

Balanced Rock in Arches National Park, Uta

“The Three Graces”

Balanced Rock in Arches National Park, Utah

Today, we may use stones to enhance our home’s exterior or our lawns, but we no longer depend on them “The Siamese Twins” for protection in the wild, like our ancestor Yaakov did. However, when we encounter some of the massive formations pictured in these pages, they remain as awe-inspiring today as they have ever been to people in the past. Hashem’s world is indeed filled with wonder and beauty! 30 |

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‫די בעסטע חנוכה מתנה‬ ‫פאר די גאנצע משפחה!‬ ‫‪IY"H‬‬

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LINK PLUS Vol 12  

A Supplement inserted in the weekly link

LINK PLUS Vol 12  

A Supplement inserted in the weekly link