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VOL. 6 NO. 36

5 SIVAN 5766

JUNE 1, 2006


From The Editor

Larry Gordon


Aliyah Chronicle

Shmuel Katz


Now I Know Why

Hannah Reich Berman


The 15-Minute Chef

Jamie Geller



Esther Mann, LMSW


Jamie Geller 36 MindBiz Esther Mann, LMSW 47 Concert Chairmen Joseph Frager and Paul Brody. See

Concert Chairmen Joseph Frager and Paul Brody. See Page 38

Concert Chairmen Joseph Frager and Paul Brody. See Page 38 Bar Mitzvah of Sholom Kanner. Simchas:

Bar Mitzvah of Sholom Kanner. Simchas: See Pages 45 & 78

Mitzvah of Sholom Kanner. Simchas: See Pages 45 & 78 Mesivta Ateres Yaakov Honors. See Page

Mesivta Ateres Yaakov Honors. See Page 44

CANDLE LIGHTING June 1 – 8:01 PM June 2 – 8:02 PM June 9 –

CANDLE LIGHTING June 1 – 8:01 PM June 2 – 8:02 PM June 9 – 8:06 PM

June 1 – 8:01 PM June 2 – 8:02 PM June 9 – 8:06 PM Torah

Torah Scrolls by C.H. Nathan. This and other Judaica works are available at www.judaicartexchange.com

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2 June 1, 2006


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P.O. BOX 690 LAWRENCE, NY 11559 516-984-0079 editor@5TJT.com advertise@5TJT.com LARRY GORDON

P.O. BOX 690 LAWRENCE, NY 11559






ESTA J. GORDON Managing Editor

YOSSI GORDON Director of Sales

CHANA ROCHEL ROSS Editorial Assistant


SHMUEL GERBER Chief Copy Editor


CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Irwin Benjamin Hannah Reich Berman Rabbi Arye Z. Ginzberg Yochanan Gordon Michele Herenstein Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky Esther Mann Rochelle Miller Arye Nisonson Paula L. Simmonds

DOV M. GORDON Operations Director

IVAN NORMAN, IRA THOMAS Staff Photographers



Art Director

The Five Towns Jewish Times is an independent weekly news- paper. Opinions expressed by writers and columnists are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. We are not responsible for the kashrus or hashgachah of any product or establishment advertised in the Five Towns Jewish Times.

establishment advertised in the Five Towns Jewish Times . Only For The Children Too many children

Only For The Children

Too many children who belong inside the walls of yeshiva classrooms have apparently either been maneuvered out

or have voluntarily opted out, and that is

the primary cause of a situation that is already of crisis proportions. Some will say that our yeshivas’ inability to handle

a certain type of child has left them with

no choice but to insist that, for the bet-

ter good of the majority of yeshiva stu-

dents, some of these kids just not attend. Frequently, decisions of this type may solve just part of a problem while leaving unanswered what this child is supposed to do with the remainder of his or her adolescent educational years. When these children cannot find an alternative educational institu- tion in which they are welcome and comfortable, the result is too often the realization of a parent’s worst night- mare, and a serious collective prob- lematic situation which does not reflect well on all of us as members of

a community renowned for chesed,

outreach, and caring for our fellow Jew, no matter what their age.

I can only comment on these matters


a parent of yeshiva students, as a for-

mer yeshiva student myself, and as a casual observer of what is currently tak- ing place in our Jewish communities. As

far back as I can recall, there were always kids who dropped out from yeshiva for one reason or another. In the yeshivas I attended, there were very few such kids over the years; but they did exist, and we

were aware of them. And it really didn’t make a big difference how we as teenagers viewed the role of school in our young adult lives. I recall viewing those situations as unfortunate, and understood that no matter how much I may have disliked school, felt uninterested in what the rebbi was teaching, or been complete- ly bored with some of the subjects in school, this was the place that I belonged and I had a commitment to stay the course and see high school through to its conclusion. Somehow, over the last 10 years or so, it became okay to beg off from

attending yeshiva and “opting out” for a young life filled with aimlessness, misdi- rection, and a year or so or more of

doing and accomplishing almost noth-

ing. Even more than that, the intellectu-

al wandering—the doing little or noth- ing—became a thing that identified a certain type of individual, and the com- mitment to aimlessness became the aca- demic equivalent of pursuing an advanced degree in absolute confusion about what to do with one’s young life. I believe that being in school is like oxygen for children up until the age of about eighteen. Remove them from school, and you are removing their sup- ply of oxygen. As you can see, the result is the creation of a very dangerous situa- tion. A child needs help breathing in the tools and ingredients that form and result in an adult life. You know what happens when someone is deprived of oxygen for too long a period of time. But, you’re thinking, not all these kids who are out of school simply opted out. Many of them were asked to leave or, as it’s more commonly referred to, they were thrown out of school. Even if that’s the case, there is still no reason for them not to be in some kind of school environment. This means that the child or teen can be in any number of specialty yeshivas or even, if need be, in public school (if absolutely no yeshi- va can be found). This idea of living and being on the street should be both intol- erable and unacceptable to all. Still, for some reason we accept the situation as it is. I can recall that the few times my friends either cut school or cut out early on some days, they were always in fear of being caught on the street by truant officers and either reported or somehow labeled as truants. This classi- fication would be recorded on a school transcript and would not necessarily

fication would be recorded on a school transcript and would not necessarily 6 June 1, 2006
fication would be recorded on a school transcript and would not necessarily 6 June 1, 2006

bode well for future references or, once you rethought the direction you wanted your life headed in, if you wanted to pur- sue some level of advanced education. Frankly, I wasn’t really certain that there was such a thing as being brand- ed a truant, until years later when I spotted a patrol car on a street in Brooklyn, and on the side of one of its doors were the words “City of New York Truant Officer.” So I really never understood, and still don’t understand, how kids today can just take them- selves out of school and say that school is just not for them. I’m trying to say two things here. One is that having teens and others drop out of school and get into trouble on some level has always happened and will most likely continue to happen. An educator I spoke to last weekend told me that his research had shown him that the very same things drew kids out of the main- stream in the European shtetl 60 and 70 and even more years ago. Kids were drawn and taken by the ideas of the New World—new ideas, “enlighten- ment,” and other things that caught their fancy or enchanted them. The second thing, and perhaps more important, is that even though these things have happened and continue to happen, our objective as a public and as a community has to be that these types of situations should not develop and should be nipped in the bud when- ever possible. At the forum in Far Rockaway last week, one of the speakers made the point that every parent registering their child for yeshiva should have to go

through some kind of series of parenting

courses. That suggestion might be a lit-


extreme and even unnecessary. I real-


do not know how to score or analyze


parent’s performance, but I believe

that since all people were once children themselves, they learned how to be a parent from their parents, and their mother and father learned the parenting ropes from their own parents, and so on down the line. Certainly the parenting courses being offered so widely these days cannot do anyone any damage. There are, of course, situations in which extenuating circum- stances invade the family infrastructure, and in these instances an intervention of some sort may be helpful and even neces- sary. Looking around, however, I cannot accept at face value that parenting in gen- eral has broken down so completely that attendance in these courses should be a prerequisite to allowing children to be registered for yeshiva. The events that occurred last week were tragic. They were the worst display of the system breaking down and failing some

young men. No one is comforted by the fact that similar events occurred 10 or 20

or more years ago. But they do happen, and

they are no less sickening. Each time we

witness or hear about them, we have to

steel and strengthen our resolve and become more determined than ever before

to reach out and help open our minds and

arms and not let up or forget about what these young people—our children—may be enduring. We can’t stop it completely, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try.

Larry Gordon can be reached for comment at


we can’t try. ❖ Larry Gordon can be reached for comment at editor@5tjt.com . 5 TOWNS
we can’t try. ❖ Larry Gordon can be reached for comment at editor@5tjt.com . 5 TOWNS
Thoughts From The Peanut Gallery BY DEBBIE BINDLER AND It is one thing to make

Thoughts From The Peanut Gallery





It is one thing to make suggestions,

mentation by those who have the



but quite another to do the hard work

Our Far Rockaway/Five Towns community is justly proud of the many acts of chesed done on an indi- vidual and institutional basis. The needs addressed cover many areas. There is provision for the material and physical needs of the members of our community, whether temporary or long term. Among the litany of needs that our community has diligently attempted to address, we would like to highlight a particular area that is

of implementing them. Nevertheless, we are making these suggestions, in the hope that they will at least stimu- late discussion and possible imple-

wherewithal to do so. We understand that our local schools are already overburdened with both ordinary and extraordinary functions. Nevertheless, we see the schools as a starting point for at least the following forms of preventive chesed:

largely unmet, perhaps because it is so labor-intensive and requires a sus- tained commitment of time. There are children of all ages in this community who could use a big brother or big sister—whether or not

1. Early childhood screening. It seems that many adolescents who don’t conform to the norm have some history of learning difficulties that were not adequately diagnosed or addressed during elementary school.

they already have one. Some need an


is important for schools and parents

adult mentor even if they are part of


be partners in conducting a review

an intact family, and all the more so

of the following basic concerns: (a)

if, unfortunately, they do not have a mother or a father at home for vari- ous reasons. Even seemingly intact, fully func- tioning families have many stressors, which affect even children who are outwardly well adjusted. If it is hard to imagine the daily toll of dealing

Are the child’s basic skills on grade level? (b) Is the child appropriately interacting socially with his or her peers? (c) Is the child fulfilling his or her potential? This review is most valuable in the early grades and early on in the school year. The answers to these questions are not usually clear-

with chronic illness, unemployment,


stated in the typical report cards.

disability, divorce or death, how much harder is it to imagine the daily toll of

2. Peer tutoring/exchange of skills. While most, if not all, of the girls’

the less visible problems of family strife, emotional or psychological impairment, or subtle learning issues that don’t fit into any formal category? Whatever the case, these families would greatly benefit from having an older friend to play with a child in need of extra support—someone to learn with, do homework with, or just spend time with. These concerns are not new, but recent tragic events in our communi- ty have brought home to us the importance of paying attention to the children who get lost in the crowd when young, but as adolescents get noticed for the wrong reasons. There are a number of wonderful local organizations that have been working with our youth, each in its own way. While each of these organi- zations does vital work, the need for one-on-one attention vastly exceeds

schools have chesed requirements, the boys’ schools, in contrast, generally do not. Boys have as much of an obliga- tion to do chesed as their female counterparts, and they should be encouraged by their schools to con- tribute at least half an hour towards a chesed requirement. The boys’ chesed activities could include being a big brother to a slightly younger boy, play- ing with small children on a Friday afternoon so that the parents can con- centrate on Shabbos preparations, or learning with a lonely elderly gentle- man who can only find a chevrusa if he is willing to pay for a tutor. Peer tutoring, where classmates tutor each other both in academic subjects and in other skills areas such as sports, chess, or other hobbies, should become the norm in all schools. 3. Staff oversight. Ideally, every school—boys’ and girls’—should have

the resources of paid professionals


staff member in place to research

(and the resources of families hiring those professionals) and mentoring organizations. This is the kind of chesed that requires an ongoing com- mitment of time that is probably not feasible for anyone presently occu- pied with significant family or work responsibilities. Who might be able to make a weekly commitment to befriend another Jew? Those people might include boys in high school and beis midrash and girls in high school and seminary, young married couples, and empty-nesters and retired people. In the event that there are available volunteers, our next concern is to pro- vide a clearinghouse for making these connections. Our hopes would be for each existing organization (education- al and spiritual) to attempt to make matches within its own ranks, or per- haps with affiliated organizations.

and follow up on the needs of its pop- ulation, addressing the first two points above. Shadchanus is usually a term relating to marriage, but it can be used in this situation as well. We are blessed to live in a commu- nity that rallies together with tremen- dous achdus in times of crisis. It’s time for us to bring that strength of achdus to the fore and apply it toward prevention. Many medical insurance companies are slowly beginning to understand the value of covering pre- ventive medical treatment. Without question, the mental health of our youth can benefit from prevention as well. Let us consciously look for and try to prevent potential problems. Let us make prevention our byword, and work together to reach out to those children who do not feel as if they fit in—before it’s too late.

5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June 1, 2006 9
Cheesecake, Soufflé, Blintzes, And Kugel At Mount Sinai Shavuos is here, which means that it’s

Cheesecake, Soufflé, Blintzes, And Kugel At Mount Sinai

Shavuos is here, which means that it’s time for those cheese dishes. Everyone knows what happened on Shavuos—the Jews were commanded to eat cheese. Right? Not exactly. As you know, of course, Shavuos is that beautiful Yom Tov that marks the day on which the Jewish people, after a torturous enslavement in Egypt, pre- pared themselves very expeditiously— in just 49 days (including week- ends)—to receive the Torah from Hashem at Sinai. What a time that must have been to be alive. My goodness—the sense of triumph and accomplishment must have been overwhelming. What a priv- ilege it must have been to be chosen as the generation that receives the Torah from G-d at Har Sinai. The only possi- ble thing close to that is to live in the generation that sees the arrival of Mashiach, for which we are very much in the running. There are, of course, those who maintain that living through the times of Mashiach can be wrought with great travail. But in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the generally

painful past of the Jewish people, it just might be that on that count we are in a fairly good position. So the Jewish people were encamped at Har Sinai ready to receive the Torah. This took place over 3,300 years ago. We know as a result of our mesorah that the Torah came from Sinai. But where did the first cheese- cake come from (not to mention all that lasagna)? A casual and unthinking observer can easily conclude that eat- ing cheese dishes is the focal point of the holiday. In the food stores on Central Avenue they are gearing up for the run on cheese dishes at a pace matched only by the demand for she- murah matzah before Pesach. The question remains: Is “Thou shall eat cheese” one of the command- ments? Well, it’s not among the first Ten, and I’m fairly certain that it is not included among any other of the 613, either. The Torah mostly lets you eat whatever you want, as long as it’s kosher and so on. So where and how did this whole cheese thing get started? Actually now that I’m thinking about

thing get started? Actually now that I’m thinking about it, the fact that we are so

it, the fact that we are so obsessed and determined to consume the finest cheese blintzes and kugels on Shavuos is great proof that Torah is Divine (if you need proof). After all, how do we know that this event—the giving of the Torah to Am Yisrael at Sinai—actually took place when we say it did? I mean, look, it was a pretty long time ago. The cheese is the clincher. Our sages tell us that “minhag Yisrael Torah hi”—a cus- tom or a tradition of the Jewish people is considered as if it were actually Torah. So don’t take this cheese thing too lightly. (Though you can use light cheese to fulfill the requirements of the custom.) To grasp the concept of the minhag to consume cheese products on Shavuos, one must place oneself in the shoes of the Jews who just exited Egypt (providing you can imagine that they had shoes. And that they only had one pair of shoes each): The Jews are gath- ered at Har Sinai; they are there for the ceremony that will surround their receiving of the Torah. Mind you that one of the early complaints of the Jewish people after being miraculously liberated from their oppressors in Egypt was that they did not like the menu they had to endure during the journey. Remember that they would fre- quently ask Moshe Rabbeinu why he took them out of Egypt, and they would consistently pose this inquiry in rather facetious and sarcastic context. “What’s the matter,” they would say, “weren’t there enough graves in Egypt?” In other words, “Did you take us out of Mitzrayim just to have us

words, “Did you take us out of Mitzrayim just to have us buried out here in

buried out here in the desert?” I don’t know, but it seems that in those olden days G-d gave in to the Jews a lot. They would complain about water, and instantly get water; they wanted meat, G-d sent them quail to satisfy their culinary desires; and so on. So, we received the Torah, and one of the things relevant to our eating habits governed by Torah is the fashion in which meat must be slaughtered and prepared. Considering that the Torah was just given a few hours or a few days prior, and that Moshe did not yet have the opportunity to teach all the laws to everyone in a comprehen- sive fashion, the Jews had a problem:

How do they slaughter (or shecht) meat so that we comply with the

a problem: How do they slaughter (or shecht ) meat so that we comply with the

requirements of halachah as dictated

by the newly introduced Jewish law? Mind you that there was not yet any

organized rabbinate, there was no time

yet to enter into contract negotiations

with rabbis, and there was no recog- nized va’ad. Later, when there was a functioning va’ad, an opposition to that va’ad developed under the leader- ship of Korach, and you know how that story ended. In any event, Moshe was the authority, and there was no need for anyone else, as Moshe was in direct communication with Hashem. So there they were: It was summer in the desert, and they were on a spiritual high, having just received the Torah. They couldn’t ritually slaughter their

animals, because they were not yet familiar with the intricacies of the law. So they played it safe and ate only dairy products. I know; you’re won- dering whether everything was chalav Yisrael, and I would speculate that, yes, it was all chalav Yisrael. I mean, there was no Nestlé or Hershey yet, and Oreo cookies would not get an O-

U certification for a few thousand

years. And if every Jew milked his or her own cow, then it was all chalav

Yisrael. Oh, what brilliant simplicity! So the Jews played it safe, and decided on this first Yom Tov of Shavuos to consume dairy products. They ate cheese and milk and things

of that nature. But did they have

cheesecake there? And what about cheese blintzes? For the purpose of this essay, it is important to assume that they did indeed have cheesecake and blintzes on that first Shavuos. It is additionally important to note and observe the way in which a Jewish custom gets started, and the beautiful way in which it is able to endure thou- sands of years of exile, pain, and uncertainty and for the minhag to emerge intact. And how does that wonderful and,

okay, cheesy tradition manifest itself in these modern times? Well here in our area, a careful survey of the tradition has resulted in finding that thousands

of cheese blintzes are sold here in

Cedarhurst for Shavuos. That’s a stag- gering amount of cheese and dough. (Did I mention the dough?) So the Jews, being the resourceful people they are, figured that with all the not yet fully understood detailed laws of shechitah, they were better off with simple dairy meals. Except that if you ask the women and men who pre- pare Yom Tov meals, they will tell you that it is more difficult to prepare milchig meals than the more straight- forward meat meals. Of course, that’s nowadays, when you can go into Supersol and the cow is already slaughtered and cut up into little pieces and shrink-wrapped and vacu-

um-packed with a little price tag glued

to it. Unwrap the package, pop the

flanken into the oven, and you have a meal (I think). Any gourmet baalabus- ta will tell you that dairy meals are far more difficult. But don’t forget, in the desert if you decided you were in the mood for steak you had to go out and chase a cow around. Same if you wanted lamb chops. If you wanted sweet breads— good luck. Dairy, in those days, was

much easier. I guess that’s just one of

those things that fits into the category of “nothing is the way it used to be.” I think the point is that without cheese blintzes and cheesecake, there is a remote chance that some people would not accord Matan Torah the attention it should be accorded. Not

that accompany a physical existence. But we are finite, being in this beauti- ful and intriguing materialistic and physical world. For some, that’s very frustrating and even disturbing. But not for the Jew—a Jew with Torah. Torah is the key to eternity. When the Jews received the Torah at

We have learned many times that some of our greatest tzadikim throughout the ages have had high aspects of Torah revealed to them while they were asleep.

that Torah needs cheesecake to make it more palatable. Torah, for those who understand, is the key to life’s ultimate desire—and that is eternity. I think every thinking organism inherently desires to be eternal; eternal without the burdens, obstacles, and troubles

Har Sinai, we accepted an invitation to forever—just like G-d Himself. Of course it’s not that simple, because before we get there we have to experi- ence and endure a life of physical and emotional travail and sometimes tor- ment (make that often torment). But

get yourself lost in the study of Torah, and you can taste the G-dliness that is eternal. Which brings us to the next unusu- al thing about observing Shavuos. And that is the custom to stay up all night on that first night of Yom Tov studying Torah. As you know, the origin of this minhag is to provide a tikun, a rectifi- cation, for the fact that the Jews at Sinai overslept on the morning of Matan Torah. Can you imagine that? The Jews are about to get the Torah from the King of all Kings Himself, and they can’t wake up, like a teenager struggling to make it to yeshiva for Sunday-morning minyan. Interestingly enough, however, the Midrash states that the Jews slept so soundly and so peacefully on the morning of that first Shavuos that not even a fly was allowed to disturb them. So the question is, if Hashem was not happy with the fact that the Jews had slept late, why did he not allow the flies to disturb them? Those

Continued on Page 12

late, why did he not allow the flies to disturb them? Those Continued on Page 12


June 1, 2006



Continued from Page 11

menacing desert flies could have been used to wake up those lazy sleeping Jews. But no, Hashem allowed them to sleep undisturbed. Chassidic thought explains that the Jews’ oversleeping on Shavuos morning was not because their alarm clocks did- n’t ring or the roosters didn’t cock-a- doodle-do. The Jews slept because they understood that they were souls in physical bodies and that the soul in this world is restricted by being enclosed in a finite body. To receive Torah, they wanted to have their souls—which ascend to Heaven during sleep—to receive the Torah unencumbered. We have learned many times that some of our greatest tzadikim throughout the ages have had high aspects of Torah revealed to them while they were asleep. Our forefa- ther Yaakov saw the entire future of the Jewish people, from beginning until the coming of Mashiach—but only when he was asleep. And this is

what the Jews desired in unity as they slept so soundly on the morning of Matan Torah. So if that’s the case and if this is such a beautiful thing, why do we in this day and age have to rectify this alleged faux pas by desisting from sleep on Shavuos night? And the answer is that Hashem admired the beauty of the Jewish intent to receive Torah from Him at the highest level possible. But this was not G-d’s pur- pose of creation. Hashem created us and gave us Torah and mitzvos so that we can perform them here with our bodies in a physical world, thereby transforming mundane physicality into great and high holiness. Our function as flesh-and-blood humans is to take the physical things that this world has to offer and turn them against their nature, making them holy and fulfilling Hashem’s intent of creating a lower worldly environment suitable for Hashem to dwell in and amongst us, which was the intent at Creation. Which oddly enough brings us back

to cheesecake. And the question as to whether your neshamah is capable of appreciating a really good piece of cheesecake from Mom’s Pastries or one of those Schwartz’s blintzes. There are some cheesecakes out there that are indeed heavenly, or at least they taste like it. So maybe, just maybe, it’s those carefully prepared sweet cheese dishes which are the bridge between the good taste of the physical and the sweetness of the spiritual. Whether you eat cheese on Shavuos because you are reminded of how the ancient Jewish people denied them- selves flanken and steak because of their uncertainty regarding proper she- chitah or because you consume dairy on Yom Tov to honor the land of milk and honey, your cheesecake, your blintz, your soufflé, or your kugel is connecting you to the depth and thoughtfulness of your ancestors—the Jews at Sinai. Chag sameiach to all.

Larry Gordon can be reached for comment at


Larry Gordon can be reached for comment at editor@5tjt.com . 12 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS

12 June 1, 2006




CALENDAR LUACH June 1 – June 10 ZIP Code: 11516
CALENDAR LUACH June 1 – June 10 ZIP Code: 11516

June 1 – June 10 ZIP Code: 11516

5 Sivan – Erev Shavuos

Thursday, June 1 Omer: 49 Eruv Tavshilin

Candle Lighting:

8:01 pm

6 Sivan – 1st Day Shavuos Erev Shabbos

Friday, June 2 Daf yomi: Shekalim 16 Z’manim*:

Earliest tallis:

4:20 am


5:26 am

Latest Shema:



8:33 am


9:09 am

Candle Lighting:

8:02 pm

7 Sivan – 2nd Day Shavuos Shabbos

Saturday, June 3 Megillas Rus Yizkor Shabbos/Yom Tov ends**:


9:11 pm



9:34 pm

8 Sivan – Isru Chag

Sunday, June 4

13 Sivan – Erev Shabbos

Friday, June 9 Daf yomi: Yoma 2

Earliest tefillin:


4:17 am


5:24 am

Latest Shema:




8:33 am


9:09 am

Candle Lighting:


8:06 pm

14 Sivan – Shabbos

Saturday, June 10 Shabbos Parashas Naso Pirkei Avos: Chapter 1 Shabbos ends**:


9:16 pm



9:38 pm

* from MyZmanim.com

** add a few minutes for tosefos Shabbos according to

your minhag

Municipal Calendar For 5 Towns and NYC

Thursday, June 8

NYC public schools: no classes.








5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June 1, 2006 13


June 1, 2006


14 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES All Together, Now: JCC, Kulanu, CAHAL, And
14 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES All Together, Now: JCC, Kulanu, CAHAL, And

14 June 1, 2006


All Together, Now:

JCC, Kulanu, CAHAL, And TOVA Join Forces





The refrain “All together now…” from a popular song aptly describes a brand-new community effort involving several well-known local organiza- tions, including the JCC of the Greater Five Towns, Kulanu, CAHAL, and TOVA. These four groups have joined forces to provide much-needed services to Five Towns families with children and teens on the autistic spectrum, giving new meaning to the concept of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Since each of these organizations already delivers unique services to the community, one might wonder why they decided to work together. Rina Shkolnik, executive director of the JCC of the Greater Five Towns, speaking for the group, explained the reasoning behind the project: “The community can and should come together. When we work together, we can do great things. Before this pro- gram existed, there was a gap in aux- iliary family-centered services for those families affected by ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) syn- drome. By coming together, we can now provide services not only to the special-needs child, but also to the siblings and parents, with respite,

social activities, support, and educa- tion. This group effort allows us to fill the gap with new activities and serv- ices, including babysitting, tutoring, mentoring, information and referrals, Teen Night, and family-centered social events.”

Through this cooperative program, each of the four organizations hopes to serve approximately 100 families on a limited, first-come first-served basis in the Five Towns area.

Under the auspices of the JCC, which manages the program, called “Lemaan Mishpachotainu” (“For Our Families”), the four organizations are the recipients of a two-year grant from the UJA designed to provide services to families with at least one special-needs child on the autistic

two-year grant from the UJA designed to provide services to families with at least one special-needs

spectrum. Children vary from high- functioning, who can be successfully mainstreamed, to children with a cluster of communication, motor, and socialization-related symptoms that may require round-the-clock care. “Each organization takes responsibili- ty for one particular piece of the pro- gram. This is the first time that these organizations serving different seg- ments of the autistic population have joined forces for the benefit of the community,” said Ms. Shkolnik. “Since the JCC is the organization connected with UJA, we are oversee- ing the entire program. Additionally, we will offer recreational facilities, staff, and equipment as our part of the joint program.” Kulanu will focus on helping chil- dren and families by providing case management and community sensitivi- ty education, helping with social skills, working with siblings, and leading recreational activities for the entire family. TOVA will provide ASD-specif- ic training for the Big Brother/Big Sister mentoring programs, which will be supervised by a licensed clinical social worker. CAHAL will participate by providing direction for after-school tutoring services to children within the school system. Families with a child on the autistic spectrum usually shoulder extra bur- dens, which can create additional stressors for the entire family. Lemaan Mishpachotainu was developed for the Five Towns community to relieve some of the day-to-day stress, while improving the quality of life for fami-

stress, while improving the quality of life for fami- Rina Shkolnik lies living with these challenges.

Rina Shkolnik

lies living with these challenges. But since the needs of children on the autistic spectrum can vary so widely, the program is highly specialized to recognize and address the individual needs of the families, each with their own unique situation. Ms. Chana Pfeifer, director of spe- cial needs at the JCC, further out- lined the program objectives: to offer a number of different activities, with the goal of reducing the isolation and burden on families with ASD chil- dren, and to provide a collaborative community effort for all in need. Ms. Pfeifer said that very often the autis-

Continued on Page 16

for all in need. Ms. Pfeifer said that very often the autis- Continued on Page 16
for all in need. Ms. Pfeifer said that very often the autis- Continued on Page 16

All Together Now:

Continued from Page 15

tic child is “identified” for services, but there is a need for sibling support, in the form of fun, social activities, and relaxation, as well. Rina Shkolnik explained that through this cooperative program, each of the four organizations hopes to serve approximately 100 families on a limited, first-come first-served basis, with activities and services tailored to their unique needs. The program tar- gets nursery-age children to teenagers, and offers respite for the families, pro- viding babysitting for autistic childlren and their siblings. Ms. Shkolnik added, “Our primary goals are to raise awareness within the community and to reduce the tension and stigma that families with a child on the autistic spectrum experience.” What are these organizations able to do with the grant that they weren’t able to do before? According to Shkolnik, “We weren’t able to provide these ancillary support services for the entire family. We can now provide an organized program and additional services which are typ- ically very costly, while raising aware- ness and public knowledge. This is something we all need to work on together to help. As part of our goal to educate the community, we are plan- ning an awareness week in September, where we will reach out to synagogues and provide speakers. In addition, we plan on having a Sunday Funday this summer at the JCC

Henry Kaufman campgrounds.” Jonathan Cooper, Kulanu’s pro- gram director of inclusion services, described his organization’s role as one that fulfills the social and respite aspects, arranging sibling groups and providing case management and trained specialized babysitters for the autistic child and siblings. A recent activity was Teen Night, staffed by Kulanu counselors, during which teens shared pizza, played games, and schmoozed with each other.

South Shore of Long Island and Queens with support, referral activi- ties, consultation to area schools, respite/summer camp, information and referral, and support groups for

siblings and parents. Kulanu also has

a middle and high school called

Kulanu Torah Academy. Tzippi Posner, the Lemaan Mishpachotainu coordinator at Kulanu, explained that

consultative support services are available to area schools such as HAFTR that are administering the

The CAHAL portion of the program is working with kids from grades 1 through 8, but they are also now beginning a high-school program for girls that will be based at TAG and a boys program based at Mesivta.

Another example provided by Mr. Cooper is Bowling Day, where “we offered respite, support, and appropri- ate social activities with staffing, through planned activities, so families could relax, have a good time, and feel comfortable.” Kulanu is primarily a parent-driven organization that has been servicing children with special needs on the

programs. Andrea Borah, director of TOVA,

outlined her organization’s role in the joint program: “For this project, we’re doing the mentoring for the children

in the program. With offices in the

Five Towns, Queens, and Manhattan, TOVA mentors children from 1st grade to 12th grade. We train the Big Brothers/Big Sisters to mentor the

special-needs child and give them one-on-one attention.” CAHAL’s Naomi Nadata, program director, and Alice Feltheimer, educa- tional coordinator, explained that they are very enthusiastic and com-

mitted members of the team, serving children with learning disabilities in a different segment of the population. Ms. Nadata said, “We see our role in this as giving insight into how some children learn differently and provid- ing outside support such as tutoring and being in touch with classroom teachers. We hope our students with learning disabilities can be helped. The children who CAHAL services are children with different learning styles who are in the academic process, learning mainstream materi- al in the schools.” The CAHAL por- tion of the program is working with kids from grades 1 through 8, but they are also now beginning a high- school program for girls that will be based at TAG, and a boys program based at Mesivta. “For Our Families” is a wonderful opportunity to come together and reap the benefits of the expertise of this coordinated effort. To learn more about this program, send e-mail to tzippi.posner@fivetownsjcc or call the JCC at 516-569-6733.

The JCC of the Greater Five Towns is a

beneficiary agency of the UJA Federation of New

York, a member agency of the United Way of Long Island and the Jewish Community Centers Association, and an affiliate of the Five Towns Community Chest. Paula Simmonds is a contributing editor for the Five Towns Jewish Times.

Chest. Paula Simmonds is a contributing editor for the Five Towns Jewish Times . 16 June
Chest. Paula Simmonds is a contributing editor for the Five Towns Jewish Times . 16 June

Preparing For The Invasion:

Hundreds Of Missionaries Coming To New York





Recently, the Five Towns Jewish Times informed you that hundreds of “Jews for Jesus” missionaries are preparing to launch an unprecedented campaign throughout the Jewish communities of greater New York, including the coun- ties to the north—Westchester, Rockland, Putnam—all five boroughs of New York City, and way out on Long Island. Northern New Jersey and the Jersey shore are on the missionary map, as well. I’ve been in touch with a num- ber of communal leaders, and can assure you that this will not occur with- out a decisive response from the greater Jewish community. Nothing unites us like a good communal threat. The missionaries are coming with a $3-million war chest to spend on radio, TV, billboard, and print ads. You can expect more mailings (like the one that targeted over 80,000 frum homes from Lakewood to Monsey two weeks ago), phone calls to your home, con- certs in parks, so-called Torah studies, and a whole lot of very visible activity on the streets, especially in the city. While this really happens every sum- mer—and has been for the last 33 years—it’s never been on this scale. And why davka now? Because the sponsor- ing organization, Jews for Jesus, is con- cluding a five-year evangelistic outreach to 65 Jewish communities around the world. New York is the last and the biggest. They are bringing in teams of seasoned missionary leaders to lead hundreds of volunteers. And they are multilingual, since they are targeting Russian, Hebrew, and Bukharian Jews, as well as English-speaking Jews. I’ve reviewed the statistics on this five year campaign they call “Behold your god”—I call it “Behold your fraud”—and they really have done a poor job in most cities, at least as far as reaching Jews. With 48 cities reporting statistics to date, they claim so far to have converted 958 Jews from around the world. That’s an average of 20 per city. They claim to have converted 3,592 non-Jews in five years of effort— that’s about 75 per city. And they’ve spent millions and millions to do this. You and I know that every neshamah is precious to us—each one represent- ing whole generations. For 958 Jewish souls lost to be lost to deceptive mis- sionary misrepresentations is a tragedy and a travesty. But when I look at this from a busi- ness point of view, I think their “Behold your god” campaign is a failure, and I expect their New York efforts to be a failure, as well. We’re not as naive as they think we are. This is the most Torah-centric Jewish enclave outside of Israel itself. And missionaries going door-to-door in Boro Park, Williams-

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Preparing For The Invasion

Continued from Page 17

burg, Crown Heights, New Square, and Monsey are likely going to meet serious and testy resistance. I have to tell you a little something about their message, their motivation, and their mindset, though, just so you understand where they are coming from and how you can best respond— or not respond. They are convinced from reading their bible that JC, whom they’ll call Yeshua, is the messiah of the Jewish people. They point to some 300 pesukim from Tanach to prove this. They have proof texts. I call them spoof texts. Most of them are mistranslated, misquoted, taken out of context, and in a couple of serious cases, non-existent. They believe that the Jewish people must have a chance to hear their mes- sage so we can make a decision to believe or reject their false messiah. They believe that JC—Yoshke, Jesus, whatever you want to call him—can’t return to earth in his “second coming”

until the Jews as a nation respond posi- tively to the message. They believe we are in acharis hayamim—the end of days—and that the millions of Jews will come to believe in him. Contrary to what some counter-mis- sionary groups might suggest, they are not cunning deceivers. I was one such missionary for many years. I never took a class in Bible College called “How to Deceive the Jews.” I was a sincere believer, not a cunning deceiver. And so it is with these missionaries. They really believe what they are saying. To them, it’s true because they believe it. After all, there are over a billion Christians on the planet. How could a handful of Jews be right about Torah? They believe that the sufferings of Jews over the last 2,000 years, includ- ing the Holocaust, are a result of our collective rejection of JC. Underneath that, of course, is the need to prove that we are wrong, because they have a nagging ques- tion—what if the Jews are right? So in recent years, they’ve become very sophisticated and have been data-

mining our mekoros and meforshim to put together a whole new substrata of proofs—really more spoofs. They are quoting—or rather, often misquoting— Rashi, the Rambam, Ramban, the Al- shich, even the Vilna Gaon—all in a quest to demonstrate that our heilige sages knew that Yoshke was Mashiach but engaged in a great cover up. Now, what are they out to actually accomplish in coming to your door, or stopping you on the street, or sending literature and audio/video media to your home? It’s very simple, and this is how you can deal with them in a kind way. There’s no need to be angry and com- bative; that only reinforces their need to feel and be persecuted. They love that. Don’t give it to them. First of all know this: Their primary job during this 29-day outreach in New York is to (1) give you something to read, hear, or view and (2) to get your contact information for follow-up. In most cases, they have to do this within three to five minutes. Much of the time, they’ll be highly visible, wearing ridicu-

of the time, they’ll be highly visible, wearing ridicu- lous T-shirts that say things like “Jesus

lous T-shirts that say things like “Jesus made me kosher” and “Jews for Jesus.” Should you encounter any of the hundreds of missionaries planning to be here throughout July, here are three things to do and three things not to do.

1. If you meet them on the street, tell

them you are in a hurry. What can they give you to read? Take their literature. Take as much as you can get. Put it in your pocket, your shoulder bag—what- ever. Get all you can. If they resist, remind them that their messiah said to give to whoever asks of you. When you

leave them, go around the corner and drop the material in the nearest trash can. They usually go out to conduct street outreaches in two to four hour sorties. The sooner you exhaust their lit- erature, the sooner they have to go back to get more.

2. While most of these missionaries

will not be Jewish, perhaps one out of four will be. The Jews amongst them know very little about Torah Judaism. What they are pushing is a bastardized blend of Jewish ideas and Christian the-

ology. Ask the person if his or her moth- er is Jewish. If they say yes, tell them you know that the Jewish experience they had growing up was probably not much more than cultural Judaism. You are a Torah Jew. Give them a phone number of a kiruv organization like Jews for Judaism or Aish HaTorah or Outreach Judaism or Judaism’s Answer. Pick one of these groups and have the number on you to recommend.

3. When you meet one of these mis-

sionaries, or if they should come to your

door, say: “Oh, thank you for reminding me! I was planning to send a contribu- tion to Yad L’achim [or Jews for Judaism, or whatever your preferred Jewish action

group may be].” Tell the missionary that their visit to your door is a wake-up call to do what you can to counter their efforts. And then of course, do send it. On the other hand:

1. Do not get into conversations

with them about interpretations of who the messiah is. They are playing verbal chess with you. They have

rehearsed for many hours on how to lead you with questions. They are bet- ter than a used-car salesman at this. Don’t start with them.

2. Do not give them your contact

information. That is their main job. They will turn that information over to local churches and to local messianic Jews to follow up with you in a month or two after this campaign.

3. Do not give them mussar. You

won’t be speaking the same language at all. By the same token, don’t be mean, angry, or verbally abusive in any way. Point to the mezuzah on your door and tell them that any home with one of these will not be interested in hear- ing their message. A simple “No, thank you” is enough. Don’t reinforce their stereotype perception that Torah Jews are angry and reactive. Now, even though the “Behold your god” campaign isn’t scheduled to begin on the streets until July 1, it’s really already begun in Jewish mailboxes. To keep up-to-date with the campaign and how you can prepare yourself and your family, listen to the Gavriel Sanders Show on Monday nights at midnight on WSNR 620 AM or in the audio archives at www.gavrielsanders.com.

Our Aliyah Chronicle




Part 6: Going, Going… In December of last year, we took a day off and made a special trip to the Jewish Agency to open our tik aliyah (aliyah file). Any Jew is entitled to automatic Israeli citizenship should he so desire. The Jewish Agency is respon- sible for the evaluation of each appli- cant to determine if they are indeed Jewish and thus entitled to automatic citizenship under the Law of Return. We met with our shaliach aliyah, Yonati Greenfield, to discuss the vari- ous issues facing our family. She was extremely helpful to us in finding infor- mation and in wading through the red tape. Quite frankly, of all the current olim I have spoken to, it seems as if our processing was as simple as it gets. Right off the bat, we discussed our oldest son. At age 15, we feel that it is unfair to force him to become an oleh and Israeli citizen, especially since he has already mapped out his schooling and career choices for the next ten or so years. In third grade he announced that he would attend Harvard Law School (recently changed to Yale) in preparation for becoming the youngest partner in his law firm’s history. While we will certainly encourage him to follow our example (and hope that his friends will do so as well), we feel that he is entitled to make his own decisions in life and we therefore made it a priority to arrange for the choice to be his. This will happen when he turns 18. Our other children, being younger, will not have a choice in this matter; they will be Israeli citizens from day one, with all the obligations and bene- fits that come with citizenship. This is the plan that we felt worked for our family. As I have said before, I do not believe there is a right or wrong. Each person and each family has to make decisions based on what they think is best for themselves and their families.

Paperwork With that settled, Yonati carefully reviewed the documents that we had prepared (our passports, original birth certificates, marriage license, and a letter from our rabbi certifying that he knew both Goldie and me as well as our families and that he could vouch for our being Jewish). She noted what documents were not originals and then reviewed all the paperwork we needed to prepare to qualify for aliyah. Applicants for aliyah under the Law of Return are issued a specific aliyah visa in their foreign passport. Essentially, the paperwork is required in order to apply for an aliyah visa. When the paperwork is approved, the visa is issued. Each adult has to sign waivers and consents that they understand what the paperwork is for and that they indeed are applying for Israeli citizen- ship. Each member of the family (or their parent/guardian) must sign a medical form certifying that they are in

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must sign a medical form certifying that they are in Continued on Page 20 5 TOWNS

Our Aliyah Chronicle

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good health. I found the reason for the medical form quite interesting. As you may know, Israel has “socialized” health care, with full coverage for every citizen. Apparently, in recent years there have been olim who have moved to Israel in order to get cov- erage for expensive medical procedures for which they have no medical coverage in their home country, after which they return to their country of origin. This same thing is also done by Israelis who have left Israel, which has resulted in the Israeli Government legislating a manda- tory waiting period before returning citi- zens can get medical benefits. In addition to the medical form, each person who will be making aliyah must complete and sign a visa applica- tion in duplicate. Many of the forms included a listing of the names and ages of all siblings, so they took quite some time to prepare. With five children making aliyah, this meant that we needed to fill out (i) two waivers, (ii) two general aliyah applications, (iii) seven medical forms, and (iv) fourteen visa applications. We set aside two hours on a motzaei Shabbos to go to my office in the yeshi- va and prepare the forms with no dis- tractions. About 10 minutes before we completed filling out the final set of forms, I realized that we probably could have saved ourselves a ton of writer’s cramp had I simply scanned the forms into the computer and just edited the information for each child. Too late.

We ordered certified copies of our missing papers, and in late January we returned to Jewish Agency to give all our papers to Yonati for processing. Thankfully, we had actually prepared the forms correctly, and within 10 days we received notification that our aliyah was approved. I can tell you that many other olim have a much harder time getting their paperwork processed. Although we were not required to (and I have no idea why),

Israeli passport for that particular person. Other people have had difficulty getting birth certificates, marriage licenses, and even acceptable letters from rabbis who can verify the lineage of both parents as Jews. Thankfully, we had none of these issues, and we were approved very quickly. With the notification of our visa approval, we were also given instruc- tions for how to get our visas processed and put into our American passports.

“What are you doing here? Are you making aliyah?” To which he replied, “Yes, we are—and it is all because of you!”

there is a certification known as “apos- tille” certification that many people are required to have put on their birth and marriage certificates. This is a specific type of certification that can only be ordered through the city or state, and we have been told it is a pain to arrange for. Additionally, we know some families in which a grandparent was an Israeli citi- zen, which made one of the spouses intending to make aliyah an Israeli citizen as well. This puts them in a totally differ- ent category of oleh, requiring not only a different visa but also the issuance of an

Additionally, we had to notify Nefesh B’Nefesh that our visas were approved and get them a copy of our visas once they had been issued, so that we could get scheduled on an aliyah flight. Before NBN, the Jewish Agency would schedule flights for olim on reg- ular El Al flights. Upon entering the country, olim would first go to the for- eign passport control area and then proceed to a special office where they would wait (seemingly for hours) for their visas to be processed. NBN has streamlined this process tremendously.

There is a common misconception that Nefesh B’Nefesh is actually paying the costs of the charter flights that are leaving for Israel twice a month from JFK this summer (as well as flights from Canada and England). In truth, the cost of a one-way ticket (except for a $50 processing fee per ticket) is paid by the government of Israel for each oleh as part of the Law of Return. What NBN does is to assemble all the olim together in group flights that the government pays for. They also arrange for officials of the Interior Ministry to be on the plane to process each oleh’s paperwork in-flight, saving countless hours of waiting in the air- port upon arrival. Olim are also entitled to free trans- portation to their Israeli destination upon arrival in Israel. Arrangements for taxis/transportation for all their olim is also a service provided by NBN (among the countless other things that NBN does for olim). As NBN olim, we had much less to do with the Jewish Agency than other olim. Two weeks ago, we presented our pass- ports at the Israeli consulate for process- ing. We assumed that the consulate was in its own building with soldiers posted outside guarding it. Turns out, that is the embassy. The Israeli consulate occupies a floor in a midtown office building. They have a special elevator which is guarded and additional security outside the eleva- tors on their floor. When we passed through security, we entered a room that could have doubled as a bank. There were 20 or so bulletproof “teller” win- dows manned by consulate employees.

were 20 or so bulletproof “teller” win- dows manned by consulate employees. 20 June 1, 2006
were 20 or so bulletproof “teller” win- dows manned by consulate employees. 20 June 1, 2006

This, of course, being the Israeli con- sulate, we had to wait on line to see which window we would need to go to wait on line at. When we got to the “aliyah visa” window, there was no one on line, but we were still told to take a seat until we were called. I have no idea why. Once we were called and organized our visa photos (we need something like 10 passport photos for each person to attach to the various forms we will have completed by the time we get to Israel) and documents, we were told to return in no less than 10 days, as there was no way we could get the visas stamped into our passports that same day. This week we will go back to the con- sulate to pick up our passports with visas (and will have done so by the time you read this). We will copy the visas and send the copies to NBN, and they will literally make all the other arrange- ments for our flight on July 5.

Housing We hope to get a copy of our lease this week. We might actually have someplace to live (more details to fol- low once the lease is signed). We packed a few more boxes—our current total is 26. We also signed up to march with Nefesh B’Nefesh olim in the Israeli Day Parade this Sunday. This past Shabbos a friend of our daughter came by the house. Her fami- ly is also making aliyah on July 5. When she saw me she excitedly announced, “Mr. Katz—39 days!” I remarked to her mother later that day that it is almost like we are in a reverse sefirah, counting down the days until we make the big move. Only five weeks left.

The Aliyah Chronicles Approximately seven and a half weeks ago, I got a phone call from Larry Gordon, the editor of the Five Towns Jewish Times. He had an idea for a new column that he wanted me to write. He told me that there are more and more people making aliyah from the Five Towns, but there are surely even more who are considering it and may be on the fence. Furthermore, while we often hear about people making aliyah, once the people leave, there is very little personal connection that we here in America have to them in understanding the experience. Larry asked me to write an aliyah jour- nal about our experiences. His idea was to personalize the process of making aliyah. His only instruction to me was to try to make the reader feel as if he or she were standing right next to us as things unfold- ed. He felt that this might encourage oth- ers to consider aliyah or, at the very least, give them a greater understanding of what olim go through. “Who knows,” he told me, “this just might be the thing that gives someone the final nudge.” This past Monday night, a group of adults got together at the home of Robert and Jennifer Airley in Cedarhurst. Each one of those attending will be moving to Israel this summer. (There will be anoth- er get-together in mid-June; if you are moving to Israel this summer and would like to join us, please send me an e-mail.) As Goldie and I entered the house, I saw a very familiar face. I have known one spouse of this couple since college, and our children have played together over the years as well. As far as I knew, this family had no plans to make aliyah in the

near future. Yet, here was the husband at a get-together for aliyah-bound couples. So I turned to this fellow and said, “What are you doing here? Are you making aliyah?” To which he replied, “Yes, we are— and it is all because of you!”

I didn’t really believe him, but our

hosts assured me that this couple was indeed planning to make aliyah this

coming September. Jennifer Airley even mentioned that she had been

waiting for weeks to see the look on my face when I heard the news.

I cannot describe the emotions I felt

at hearing his words. I was absolutely stunned. The thought that this family would even jokingly imply that I had something to do with their decision was overwhelming. I was literally moved to hug this fellow and I was trembling from nervous excitement.

I had no idea that this family was

even considering aliyah, and here they were talking about their post-Shavuos pilot trip to find a community to settle in. Obviously this was something that they had considered over time, and

clearly I had nothing to do with the process, which is what I told him. He assured me that I was wrong. This is what he told me:

He and his wife have talked for years about making aliyah. They have talked about the need for parnasah and how to

make aliyah work for their family. Their children were encouraging them to make the move. But the task seemed too daunting to them; without a job, they didn’t really consider it an option. Then they started reading these arti- cles, and it didn’t seem so overwhelm-

ing (it really is—but once you put your mind to it, things just happen). So they gave Nefesh B’Nefesh a call and they talked about jobs. After discussing it with his boss, it seems that commuting for 10 days a month will work for them, and all of a sudden here they are plan- ning a September departure to join us

this year. If all goes well, they will make it official two weeks after Shavuos. Even now, as Goldie and I talk about this, we are literally close to tears as we consider the profound impact our words have had on this family. Goldie

even feels a sense of responsibility that their aliyah be successful, as she would feel terrible if we were responsible for

a negative outcome. I wish I could take the credit. But the credit really goes to Larry Gordon. He came up with the idea for these articles and he is the one who thought that this

very result would come from it. So I wish

a yasher ko’ach to Larry Gordon for com-

ing up with the idea for these articles, and

I hope to be able to wish an official Mazal Tov to this family in two weeks or so. I also hope and pray to be wishing many more Mazal Tovs in the near future. Until then I wish you all a Gut Yom Tov and may we all be zocheh to cele- brate the rest of our chagim together in Yerushalayim—the capital of our holy land, Eretz Yisrael.

Shmuel Katz is the executive director of the Yeshiva of South Shore. His wife, Goldie, is the controller at Bnos Bais Yaakov. Together with their six children (ages 1 to 15), the Katzes will iy’H be making aliyah this July. Mr. Katz can be reached at shmukatz@bigfoot.com. In response to the many requests Shmuel has had for reprints/copies of the prior articles, he has published them on the web at aliyahchronicles.blogspot.com.

articles, he has published them on the web at aliyahchronicles.blogspot.com. 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June 1,
WHAT’S YOUR OPINION? WE WANT TO KNOW! E-MAIL US AT editor@5TJT.com Midrashim and Literal Truth


Midrashim and Literal Truth




There is a series of Torah tapes to which we have put my youngest son to bed this past

year. The series is wonderful, bringing each parashah to life for my son. When an adult friend of mine was stumped by

a question at the motzaei

Shabbos father–son learning program we attend, my six- year-old had the answer! Yet these tapes concern me, because they are largely based on the Midrash, and they retell Midrashim as if

they are literal truth. I worry that my son’s Torah educa- tion will be distorted, as the wrong balance is struck between historical reality and the lessons that Midrashim attempt to teach. In this light, I was thrilled to read “The Dangers of Midrashim” (Five Towns Jewish Times, May 19, p. 64)

by Rabbi Pinchas Rosenthal,

the dean of the Torah Academy of Long Island. Rabbi Rosenthal’s thesis—that Midrashim often are not to be

taken literally—is on the mark. Unfortunately, many rebbeim do not take the time to differentiate allegorical Midrashim from historical truth. The error is compound- ed by the fact that teachers thereby fail to teach the mean- ing behind the Midrashim.

The actual lesson is lost, while its façade is taken as Torah miSinai, and our talmidim learn how to miss the point. Simultaneously, students are taught to believe that if one questions the literal truth of Midrashim, he is a heretic. Le’havdil, the story of Alice in Wonderland is written on two levels. It is a children’s fable, but it is also a political satire. In like manner, the Torah can be understood at many levels, and many Midrashim are also styled in this fashion. Thus, one can teach the Midrash that Moshe Rabbeinu was 20 feet tall at a

simple level. For a six-year-old, this may suffice. For a 20-year- old, it is unacceptable! At some stage, one must seek the les- son behind the Midrash. And

unacceptable! At some stage, one must seek the les- son behind the Midrash. And 22 June
unacceptable! At some stage, one must seek the les- son behind the Midrash. And 22 June

even a six-year-old should be exposed to such Midrashim only in moderation, lest he or she lose sight of the reality within which our ancestors lived. I believe that two elements have led to this regrettable misunderstanding of Midrashim. The first element is the intrinsically enticing quality of Midrashim. To illustrate, let us take the Midrash that when Yaakov Avinu lay down to sleep at Beit E-l, he put rocks around his head (Bereishis

In order to counter the teaching method to which children are exposed, I have sought, from when my kids were young, to explain that Midrashim are not necessarily literal.

28:11). Each rock desired to be the one upon which Yaakov actually lay his head, so G-d fused them into one rock. It is undeniably more exciting to teach the Midrash kiphshuto, in its literal form. How enthralling it must be for a child to read about this miracle. If we take the Midrash as allegorical, we are forced to seek its intended message. What do the Sages mean to imply about the greatness of Yaakov? The

easy, fun way out is to teach the Midrash literally and stop there. The second element is our bias toward Rashi’s exposition of the Torah. Rashi’s importance cannot be empha- sized enough. However, he does some- times resort to Midrashim, especially when he feels that they conform to his stated intent of focusing upon the sim- ple understanding of the text. (At the beginning of Parashas Vayeishev, Rashi’s grandson, the Rashbam, writes that he took Rashi to task for not writ- ing his commentary in a simpler way. The Rashbam records that his grandfa- ther conceded the point.) When our children begin to study Chumash with Rashi, rebbeim expose them to the Midrashim that Rashi brings, without bothering to note that many Midrashim are to be taken figura- tively. A prime example is Rashi’s com- ment on the word “vachamushim” in Parashas Beshalach (Sh’mos 13:18). Rashi’s first explanation is the literal one:

that the Israelites were armed with weapons and supplies when they left Egypt. Rashi then proceeds to record one of several Midrashim on “vachamushim.” Extracting its root, which is ch-m-sh, or “five,” he states that only one of every five Israelites actually left Egypt, with the remaining four-fifths perishing during the Plague of Darkness, out of sight of the Egyptians. Inevitably my children have come home from yeshiva with Rashi’s Midrashic comment as the true mean- ing of “vachamushim.” And yet, if this

Continued on Page 25

the true mean- ing of “ vachamushim .” And yet, if this Continued on Page 25
the true mean- ing of “ vachamushim .” And yet, if this Continued on Page 25
the true mean- ing of “ vachamushim .” And yet, if this Continued on Page 25

Do-It-Yourself Halachah





In our very capable, very accom- plished Jewish community, there is a disturbing trend among some toward a cavalier, make-do attitude toward halachah. The very fabric of our Torah lives—complying with the Divine Will as ascertained by our sages—requires

a commitment to truth and accuracy

that sometimes falls as a casualty of the busy times in which we live. Specifically, many people unfortu- nately have become accustomed to assuming that halachic decisions by competent poskim are fungible and interchangeable—a veritable mix-and- match. Nothing could be further from the truth. To ascertain the correct halachah in a given situation, a poseik must bring the breadth and depth of his knowledge to a painstaking review of the specific facts at issue. Knowledge and

sensitivity to which facts are critical and which are superfluous comes only after

a thorough mastery of the halachic

sources and experience in addressing that particular topic. If the goal is truth and the correct application of truth, then the danger of people deciding halachah for themselves acutely threatens that goal. A poseik may decide two different cases—which, to the untrained eye, seem to be identi- cal—in very different ways. For instance, one man may blunder in the kitchen with a meat pot and a dairy spoon, and

his friend may make a similar mistake, and assume that the halachic decision obtained by the first man should apply to the second. But this is simply not the case. Halachic decisions may be affected by such issues as the type of food, the timing of the blunder, the impact, and the persons involved. There are additional pitfalls of attempting self-determination of

halachah. In deciding any halachic issue, one must assume that his judg- ment may be impaired in reaching a decision that affects his own life; it suggests an obvious conflict of interest. Moreover, a halachic ruling obtained by one person may have the context of being part of an overall halachic approach of a particular rabbi. Thus, when someone “borrows” some lenien- cy, it may lose its integrity and context. For example, a woman might attend the mikveh and insist that certain cosmetic appliances, like nail attachments, may be left attached because her friend obtained such a ruling from her rabbi in

a different setting, under different cir- cumstances, as part of that rabbi’s over- all approach to the issues; but this woman knows only of the leniency of which she wishes to avail herself. Imagine if people were to treat a medical dilemma in this fashion. Who would consider it appropriate to self- medicate or undertake certain medical treatments based upon the fact that his friend who had similar symptoms received that medical advice? Certainly,

the patient should consult experts and

undergo all the necessary medical tests

to independently determine what condi-

tion is afflicting him. Who would take medication based upon a friend’s sug- gestion from her pharmacist without consideration by an expert as to the interaction of all the drugs she is already taking? So, too, in the arena of halachah: each of us must consult experts in the field, provide them with all the data, and not do it ourselves. A story is told about Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt’l, and a woman who appealed to him for guidance, having discovered that her post-war second marriage—undertaken in reliance upon her belief that her first husband had been killed, and upon an apparent p’sak halachah (halachic decision) allowing

the second marriage—was an error; her first husband was indeed still alive. The rosh yeshiva refused to accept her ver- sion of facts, insisting that if the poseik upon whom she had allegedly relied had indeed issued such a heter (permis- sive ruling), then this awful outcome would never have happened. Rav Moshe was certain that such an honest rabbi would have been the beneficiary of Divine assistance in rendering the correct decision. The woman broke down in tears, confessing that she did not receive such

a ruling, but a friend had, and she had

determined that the circumstances, and thus the decision, were the same. Her error was indeed a tragedy. Often, people feel intimidated or hes- itant to ask their rav certain questions of halachah, sometimes dealing with sensi-

tive issues, such as laws of family purity, mikveh, and others. My rebbe, Rav

Nuchim Tzvi Kornmehl, zt’l, used to urge rabbanim to take upon themselves the burden of making this process easi- er for people, giving encouragement and putting people at ease. Further, it goes without saying that a rabbi must make himself as accessible as humanly possi- ble to his kehillah, such that no one should feel disenfranchised and without options other than to take a guess at the halachah. This is particularly critical in deal- ing with halachic inquiries surround- ing taharas hamishpachah and mikveh attendance, where time constraints make a rabbi’s availability so crucial. Women should never be in a position of having to wait an hour at the mikveh for guidance, or even worse, “borrow- ing” a heter from a friend because a rabbi was not available or because she did not think it made any difference. Finally, a word about rabbinic profi- ciency is in order. Not every rabbi is an expert in every halachic area, and even the experts often need some time to deliberate and check sources. It is far more important to come to a correct conclusion than an independent or quick one. This is well known to the rabbanim, and should be appreciated by their congregants.

In the merit of our conscientiously pursuing Hashem’s Will through halachic observance, may our poskim and leaders be granted with Divine assistance and blessing.

Rabbi Chatzinoff is the mara d’asra of the Tifereth Zvi Yeshiva minyan in Cedarhurst.

Chatzinoff is the mara d’asra of the Tifereth Zvi Yeshiva minyan in Cedarhurst. 24 June 1,


Continued from Page 23

were meant to be understood literally, several questions should arise. First, it would mean that the Plague of Darkness was actually much more a plague for the Israelites than it was for the Egyptians. Second, it would require us to believe that the Egyptians did not notice how 80 percent of the Israelite population suddenly van- ished! Third, it would be inconceivable that just a few weeks later, a decimat- ed Israelite population would go with such joy into the wilderness. How, in the face of this massive loss of life, could they heartily celebrate the Exodus? Finally, the Midrash records other opinions that have a much small- er number of Israelites escaping the Plague of Darkness. One opinion is that only one out of 50 left Egypt. Another opinion is that one in 500 sur- vived. And the Talmud, in Maseches Sanhedrin (111a), writes that only 2 out of every 600,000 left Egypt! For one thing, only one of these can be literal. Moreover, if we take the calculation in Sanhedrin literally, it would require us to believe that 180 billion Israelites lived in Egypt. Truly the Rambam is correct in writ- ing that the literal approach to Midrashim is a foolish one. (And yet, many years ago I heard a rabbi in our community say that this Midrash in Sanhedrin is literally true!) Meanwhile, the lesson of these Midrashim is missed. How about the following interpretation for the 1-in-50

version? We are taught that the Israelites were mired in 49 levels of impurity, out of a possible 50 levels.

The Midrash hints at this low spiritual level by stating that one in 50 Israelites left Egypt—that only 2 percent of Israel’s spirituality had been preserved during the Exile. The result of literal teaching of Midrashim is mind-boggling. Our chil- dren grow up believing that the ancients lived a fairy-tale existence. On the aforementioned tape series, the narrator, a highly respected rebbi (and former teacher of mine), says that during the Plague of Wild Animals, all the world’s animals descended upon Egypt, bringing along their local cli- mates. Thus, where the polar bears were it was icy cold, while where the lions were it was hot. This is taught as literal truth, in total disregard of the much more likely alternative: that wild animals native to Egypt served as G-d’s instrument of punishment, without a bizarre change in climate.

In order to counter the teaching

method to which children are exposed, I have sought, from when my kids were young, to explain that Midrashim are not necessarily literal. I have pointed out that the Talmud itself states: “The rabbis spoke in exaggerated terms” (Chullin 90b). I hope that other par- ents are doing the same.

I have no doubt that Rabbi

Rosenthal’s brave piece (and this arti- cle as well) will encounter fierce oppo- sition. It is too bad that in some quar- ters, in-depth Torah study has been forced to yield to shallowness.

quar- ters, in-depth Torah study has been forced to yield to shallowness. ❖ 5 TOWNS JEWISH
quar- ters, in-depth Torah study has been forced to yield to shallowness. ❖ 5 TOWNS JEWISH
quar- ters, in-depth Torah study has been forced to yield to shallowness. ❖ 5 TOWNS JEWISH
From The Chassidic Masters Underneath The Mountain On the sixth day of Sivan in the

From The Chassidic Masters

Underneath The Mountain

On the sixth day of Sivan in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), the entire nation of Israel assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai. There G-d chose us as His people and we committed ourselves to observe the laws of life as outlined in His Torah. The Talmud (Shabbos 88a) points out, however, that nearly 1,000 years were to pass before our covenant with G-d was sealed. As formulated at Sinai, the contract between G-d and Israel contained certain vulnerabilities; in fact, its very validity was contestable. It was only nine and a half centuries later, with the events of Purim, that our acceptance of the Torah was estab- lished upon an unshakable foundation. The Torah tells us that prior to the revelation at Sinai, the People of Israel “stood beneath the mountain” (Sh’mos

19:17). How does one stand beneath a mountain? The Talmud interprets this to mean that “G-d held the mountain over them like a barrel and said to them: If you accept the Torah, fine; if not, here shall be your grave.” But a most basic rule of Torah law is that a contract entered into under duress is not binding; hence, concludes the Talmud, there was a standing contest to the legality of our commitment to observe the Torah. But during the events of Purim, the Jewish people reaffirmed their accept- ance of the Divine law without any hint of coercion from Above. In the words of Megillas Esther (9:27), they “established and accepted”—meaning, says the Talmud, that they established as valid and incontestable that which they had accepted a millennium earlier at Sinai.

that which they had accepted a millennium earlier at Sinai. The Dark Ages At Sinai, G-d

The Dark Ages At Sinai, G-d revealed His very essence to man. As the Torah tells it, “G-d descended upon Mount Sinai” and we “saw the G-d of Israel.” On that day, we were “shown to know that G-d is the Supreme Being; there is none else besides Him”; “Face to face G-d spoke to [us], on the mountain, from within the fire” (Sh’mos 19:20 and 24:10; Devarim 4:35 and 5:4). In terms of any open signs of the Divine presence in our lives, the events of Purim were the diametric opposite of the revelation at Sinai. G-d’s home on earth, the Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple) in Jerusalem, lay in ruins, its rebuilding, ordered 14 years earlier by the emperor Cyrus, halted by Achashveirosh’s decree. The era of prophecy—G-d’s direct communica- tion to man—was coming to a close. We were in exile, at the mercy of our enemies, and G-d seemed oblivious to the fate of His chosen people. Even the miracle of Purim was so complete- ly clothed in natural events that G-d’s guiding hand in all that occurred was shrouded by the illusion of fortunate coincidence. This is most powerfully demonstrated by the fact that in the entire Megillas Esther, there is not a single mention of G-d’s name! How did this spiritual blackout affect our commitment to G-d? It spurred us to what can be described as the greatest demonstration of our loyalty to Him in our history. For 11 months, a decree of annihilation hung over the entire com- munity of Israel. As Megillas Esther relates, even after Haman had fallen

out of favor with the king and was hanged, the decree he initiated remained in effect; the only thing that Esther was able to achieve was to pre- vail upon Achashveirosh to issue a sec- ond decree, in which the Jews were given the right to resist those who came to kill them. The first decree, calling upon all citizens of the realm to annihi- late the Jewish minority in their midst on the 13th of Adar, remained in force until that date, when the Jews were vic- torious in their war against their ene- mies, killing 75,000 of their attackers. For that entire year, when being a Jew meant that one’s life was free for the taking by imperial decree, not a single Jew broke ranks from his people to seek safety by assimilating into the pagan populace. In fact, Megillas Esther records that that period saw many conversions to Judaism! So strongly did the Jews radiate their faith in G-d and their confidence in His sal- vation, that many of their neighbors were motivated to join a people with such a powerful and immutable rela- tionship with G-d. Therein lies the deeper significance of the “coercion” to accept the Torah at Sinai and the validation of our covenant with G-d achieved on Purim. At Sinai, we had no choice. Faced with such an awesome revelation of the Divine truth, one could hardly doubt or dissent. In effect, we were forced to accept the Torah; over- whelmed and completely enveloped by the Divine reality (“the mountain held

Continued on Page 30

enveloped by the Divine reality (“the mountain held Continued on Page 30 26 June 1, 2006
5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June 1, 2006 27
5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June 1, 2006 27


June 1, 2006


Hidden Fruit




It’s the last day of the Hebrew month of Nissan. On this breezy, spring day, the sun shines down on us and the small, newly bud- ded branches rustle. We are walking around my neighbor- hood in search of a fruit tree. Today is the last day to recite a blessing, whose opportunity comes only once a year—the blessing on a fruit tree that has begun to bud, which can be said only in the month of Nissan. Given the varying weather patterns in Toronto, it’s not every year that our search for a

budding tree in April is suc- cessful. With our mild past winter, though, we are hopeful. About a block from my home, we spot it. My children excitedly inform me that they remember how the small, aromatic red-and-green apples swelled from this tree’s branches last summer. We exam- ine the tree closely; the little flowers that will soon turn into sweet, juicy fruit are discernable. Our search is over. My husband opens the sid- dur (prayer book) for us to read the blessing. This is not a bless- ing we are familiar with, as it is

one that is said but once a year. I read the words to myself in Hebrew, translating silently in my mind:

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d…who has not made His world lacking in anything and He created in it goodly creatures and goodly trees to give pleasure to mankind from them. As I recite the words, I feel every fiber of my being rebelling. Has not made His world lack- ing? Not lacking in anything? My heart vehemently protests as my memory conjures up images from the past year… We are standing just a few blocks away, on a colder day but at this same time of year, at the funeral of a young father. I can almost hear the sobs of his young pregnant widow and the

silence of his toddler son, still too young to fathom the impact of these grave events. I hear myself answering the phone just a few weeks ago to an urgent request for members of the community to say Tehillim. The prayers are for a 14-year-old boy diagnosed with

a brain tumor. On my lips are still the

Tehillim I said this morning for

a very likable, special woman in

our community, currently undergoing chemotherapy. And my eyes still sting from the funeral of an elderly woman, a former kindergarten teacher who, just over a week ago, was finally but so sadly released from her last years of suffering and hospitalization. And these are but the

of suffering and hospitalization. And these are but the 28 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS JEWISH

28 June 1, 2006


recent memories, and just the memories from my own little circle of acquaintances. Just within my own community. What of the suffering of our brethren elsewhere—homes that were shattered, lives that have crumbled, brave individuals who have been reduced to tears?

What of all the many tragedies the world over, young and old suf- fering a whole score of sorrows?

This is a world that is not lacking in anything? Am I really expected to extol a world where misery mingles so easily with happy times? We are now walking the short distance back to our home. I see children playing innocently along the streets of our suburb. My youngest child—my baby—who just turned two, comes out of our home to greet me. This last year has brought many changes for her, as well. She has grown from a barely crawling infant to a walking, talk- ing, and quite independent tod- dler. Gazing at her, I silently pray that the coming year will signal just as much continued growth. She is a budding flower, replete with potential, burst- ing with energy and capability just waiting to develop. I think back to the budding flowers on the fruit tree—their potential so tightly wrapped, hid- den within, a secret to the world. Now it is a plain green bud, but within is held a precious secret, a key to joy and survival. It won’t be for several weeks until it pro- duces its aromatic, juicy fruits. But right now, within that bud, is contained all that power, all that latent potential. To the naked eye it looks unremarkable and spare, but the discerning eye sees life-giving treasure hiding just beneath the surface. Within my child—within every child, within each of us— lies, like the budding fruit flow- ers on the tree, all that it takes to make our world a perfect world; a world of redemption; a world of peace and unity; a world without strife and misery. Each of us holds the keys and the prospects to make our bar- ren world bloom into a redemp- tive one. We need only have the eyes to see and discern what lies beneath the tiny bud of each of our positive actions, and have the courage to create a world “that does not lack in anything.” Because hiding within our world is the potential each of us has to palpably discover and actualize the reality that our G-d has not made His world lacking in anything and has created its goodly creatures and goodly trees to give pleasure to

mankind. (Chabad.org)

Chana Weisberg is the author of Divine Whispers: Stories that Speak to the Heart and Soul and three other books. She is a noted educator and columnist, and lectures worldwide on issues relating to women, faith, relationships, and the Jewish soul.

5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June 1, 2006 29


June 1, 2006



Continued from Page 26

over them like a barrel”), we could not but commit ourselves to our Divinely ordained mission and role. But a thousand years later, we reaf- firmed this commitment under entirely different conditions. The Divine pres- ence did not hover over us, compelling us to recognize its truth. On the con- trary: the Divine face was hidden. We were on our own, our commitment to G-d deriving wholly from within—from

an inner choice to cleave to Him regard-

less of how invisible He remained to us.

So Why The Coercion? This is not to say that on Purim a

new, valid contract replaced the origi- nal, contestable one. If that were the case, what was the point of the revela- tion at Sinai? Certainly, the Torah was

a binding commitment between our-

selves and G-d for the 950 years from Moshe to Esther. If we look closely at the Talmud’s interpretation of the verse from Megillas Esther, it says that

the people of Israel “established what they had already accepted”: Purim was the fulfillment and corroboration of a truth that had already been imple- mented at Mount Sinai. That truth is that our relationship with G-d is not bounded by reason. It is not dependent upon our under-

sen to do so on our own, but because a consciously chosen commitment could not begin to express the true extent of our acceptance of the Torah. Our covenant with G-d extends beyond the finite world of our con- scious desires, embracing the infinite expanses of our supra-conscious self—

We were on our own, our commitment to G-d deriving wholly from within—from an inner choice to cleave to Him regardless of how invisible He remained to us.

standing of it, or even upon our con- scious awareness of its existence. It

transcends our conscious self, residing in the very core of our souls. This was why we were compelled to receive the Torah at Mount Sinai: not because we would not have freely cho-

the supra-conscious self that always sees G-d and is unequivocally aware of His truth. At Sinai, this supra-con- scious self was revealed. Our con- scious self, occupying but a minute corner of our soul, was completely overwhelmed and its choice-making

our soul, was completely overwhelmed and its choice-making 30 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES

30 June 1, 2006


mechanisms were completely silenced. This was the true significance of what occurred when we stood beneath the mountain. But for many centuries, the events at Sinai were open to misin- terpretation. In our own minds, we remembered the event as a time when we were overwhelmed by the Divine truth and compelled to accept it. Did this come from within—from a place in our souls not accessible by the con- scious self? Or perhaps it came from without, from an external force which coerced us, against our own true will, into our covenant with G-d? Then came Purim, with its total eclipse of all perceivable G-dliness. To remain a Jew—to remain loyal to our covenant with G-d—was a choice unin- fluenced by any supra-conscious revela- tions. By choosing to accept the Torah under such circumstances, we affirmed that this is the true will of the Jew. We affirmed that our “coercion” at Sinai was not against our will, but in complete har- mony with our true desire. (Chabad.org)

Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Courtesy of MeaningfulLife.com.

“Cool Dessert” ShavuosRecipes From Elite

. “Cool Dessert” ShavuosRecipes From Elite With Shavuos here, and summer rapidly approaching, many

With Shavuos here, and summer rapidly approaching, many amateur and professional chefs are avidly searching for new lip-smacking recipes that they can quickly whip up in the kitchen. This year, the gourmands at Elite, Israel’s premier chocolate and confec- tions company, are offering several cre- ative culinary ideas with a distinct Mediterranean halva twist to millions of consumers in the U.S., Israel, and the UK. For Shavuos, one can prepare cool and creamy rich desserts using the finest Elite products, including eight different kinds of chocolate bars and halva, which are readily available at local supermarkets and sweet shops. Elite’s halva is known as a nutritious Mediterranean treat that is also rich in calcium content. Elite chocolate bars and halva carry both the OU and Badatz kashrus symbols. Below are two of Elite’s most popu- lar summertime dessert recipes that are both fun and easy to make. B’tayavon and Chag Samayach!

Chocolate-Halva Frozen Delight (Dairy) Ingredients:

15 oz. Elite halva

4 small containers sweet whipped cream

9 oz. Elite chocolate spread

I am starting a brand-new business and I don’t know if I should incorpo- rate.

I am starting a brand-new business and I don’t know if I should incorpo- rate. What options do I have? Your question may not necessarily be simple to answer. You will need to consider several things, and your options are not confined to the ones I’ll present in this column. You should also consult with your accountant, since there are tax implications. If you are considering to incorpo- rate, you should know that there are certain similarities between a corpora- tion and what is known as a “limited liability company” (LLC). Both are legal entities created by law and involve state filings. Both help protect your personal assets from your busi- ness liabilities. Both have very few ownership

restrictions and may be owned by non- U.S. residents, business entities, or individuals (except corporations with what is known as Subchapter S sta- tus). As the needs of your company

Corporations are owned via shares of stock; limited liability companies are owned by membership interest. Corporations are required to hold annual meetings of shareholders and directors and to keep written minutes of each meeting. Limited liability com- panies do not have this requirement. A corporation is a separately taxable entity where profits and losses are taxed directly within the corporation at the corporate tax rate, except Subchapter S status. This can lead to

Corporations are owned via shares of stock; limited

liability companies are owned by membership interest.

change, the corporation can amend the existing business structure or form a new business structure. There are also some differences that you should be made aware of. Corporations issue stock, while limited liability companies do not.

double taxation when corporate profits are paid out to owners as individuals. A limited liability company is a “pass- through” tax entity, and, like corpora- tions with Subchapter S status, the profit or loss generated by the business is reflected on the personal income-tax

return of the owners. The Limited liability company com- bines many of the advantages of a cor- poration—such as limited personal lia- bility—with the tax advantages of a partnership. A limited liability compa- ny offers personal liability protection to all of its owners (called “members” or “managers”). It may be treated like a partnership or S Corporation for tax purposes, allowing income or losses to be reported on the member’s individ- ual tax returns, thereby avoiding dou- ble taxation. Both a corporation and an individual can be owners of a limited liability company. If you are considering incorporating, call my office for a consultation and we will assist you in making your decision.

The Law Offices Of Howard M. Adelsberg is a full-service law firm with over 20 years of experience, and handles a variety of legal matters in the areas of personal injury, estate matters, real estate transactions and litigation, commercial litigation, and family law. You can call the office at 516-569-6930. Readers are encouraged to send questions to HAdelsberg@Lawofhma.com or to Law Offices Of Howard M. Adelsberg, 445 Central Avenue, Cedarhurst, NY 11516.


Mix halva and contents from 2 con-

tainers of the whipped cream using a blender until you get a smooth whip. Pour into a long pan until it is half full and place in freezer. Melt the chocolate spread together with another half container of whipped cream, and whip the remain- ing whipped cream until firm, then fold chocolate mix into whipped cream. Pour into pan over halva layer. Cover with saran wrap and place in

freezer for 6 hours. Recommendation: Serve over halva strips.

Halva-Chocolate Balls (Dairy) Ingredients:


oz. Elite halva


oz. Elite bittersweet chocolate


oz. Elite milk chocolate


stick of butter


spoons confectionary sugar


cup milk


oz. Elite petibar biscuits


Melt chocolate (both types), butter, confectionary sugar, and milk; cool. Crush petibar (biscuits) and halva in

blender, place in large container, and pour chocolate mix over it. If the mixture is too wet, you may add more biscuits. Cool the mixture. Form balls out of the mixture.

You may cover or decorate the balls

with chopped walnuts. Place in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

Deadline for Advertising in the Next Issue is Monday, June 5 at 5:00 P.M. Call 516-984-0079

Advertising in the Next Issue is Monday, June 5 at 5:00 P.M. Call 516-984-0079 5 TOWNS
Now I Know Why I’ve always assumed that an inher- ently honest nature keeps one

Now I Know Why

I’ve always assumed that an inher- ently honest nature keeps one from considering a life of crime. Recently, however, I’ve had second thoughts about that—at least in my case. To play it safe, most bank robbers wear masks, and now I understand that it just might be the prospect of wearing a mask that has kept me on the straight and narrow all these years. I will testify to the fact that while apnea and sleepless nights are troublesome, wearing a mask is no walk in the park, either. After waiting for several weeks, I received a call informing me that my sleep mask was ready to be delivered. Oh, joy! I made an appointment for the following Tuesday. (My mother always told me that Tuesday was a mazeldikeh day, so I was optimistic.) About 2:00 in the afternoon, on the day in question, the doorbell rang. I’m one of those people who are never lucky enough to receive an early morning or late after- noon delivery of anything. My mother may have been right about Tuesday being a mazeldikeh tug, but my own personal mazel is such that a delivery is always right smack in the middle of the day, thereby ruining any plans I

might care to make. I opened the door to a uniformed gentleman. The fact that he had his arms wrapped around two large boxes didn’t escape my attention. So, instead of the customary “hello,” my greeting

mechanical, nor am I the quick study I once was, so, as he placed the boxes on my kitchen table, my anxiety level headed due north. I stood silently by as he opened the boxes. The first thing I noticed was a book sitting on top of a machine that resembled a mini humid- ifier. My new friend insisted it was a booklet—probably because he thought that if he called it a booklet, I would be lulled into thinking that the material inside was condensed and simple. But I’m not that easy to fool. One look at the thickness of this tome and I immediately knew I was in trouble. As is my custom, I went to the last page first. I do this in order to make a

He showed me how to put it together, take it apart, wash out the plastic container, attach the hose, detach the hose, clean the filter, and remove the container in order to fill it with water.

was more along the lines of “Uh-oh, this isn’t going to be a simple thing.” I must have said it aloud, because his first words to me were, “Don’t let these boxes worry you, ma’am. The equipment inside is compact and simple to use.” He was half right. The apparatus is relatively compact. But, as for the “sim- ple to use” part of his commentary, that depends entirely on the user. I’m not

quick determination as to how much reading I’ll have to do. I found out. And my first thought was that anything that requires 76 pages of description and explanation is not for me. I said as much to the man, who, by the way, doubled as a technician. I made it abundantly clear to him that reading the booklet wouldn’t do the trick. I asked him to give me a complete

demonstration of how to operate the equipment, and my first thought was that the guy was a prince because he never batted an eyelash. In fact, he

was too calm about it. And that’s when

I realized that this was no surprise to

him. He hears this plea from everyone who gets snookered into accepting this face-mask business.

He showed me how to put it togeth- er, take it apart, wash out the plastic container, attach the hose, detach the hose, clean the filter, and remove the container in order to fill it with water. He also answered my questions about how often the water would need to be replaced, how often to clean the filter, and how often to wash the plastic. After 30 minutes I finally let the guy escape, but I didn’t think to write down this information. So chances are I’ll have to let my eyes tell me when the water gets too low, when the plas- tic looks yucky, and when the filter looks dirty. Either I rely on my powers of observation, or I read 76 pages, and since I have no intention of doing the latter, I guess I’ll have to eyeball it. As of this writing, I’ve worn the mask (for want of a more descriptive word) exactly once, and what they say is true:

It will take time to get used to this. It’s

not nearly as uncomfortable as the one

I was forced to wear in the sleep lab.

But then it’s also not as comfortable as sleeping without one. A clear plastic hose, measuring two inches in circum- ference and three feet in length, runs from the humidifying machine to the nasal plugs that rest just above my lip and press into my nostrils.

to the nasal plugs that rest just above my lip and press into my nostrils. 32
to the nasal plugs that rest just above my lip and press into my nostrils. 32

I had a hard time trying to sleep with it, and being a restless sleeper made it even more difficult. Every time I wanted to turn over, I had to move the hose. As I schlepped it from left to right and then back again, it occurred to me that if I wasn’t careful I might accidentally compress the thing and then there would be no air getting into my nostrils, the nasal piece would act as a plug, and eventually I would suf- focate. It wasn’t a comforting thought. But on the positive side, I realize that, G-d forbid should a robber sur- prise us in the middle of the night, we’ll have nothing to worry about. Under normal circumstances most people appear defenseless when awak- ened from sleep, but not moi—at least

not anymore. One look at me in full regalia would scare the life out of the most determined intruder. If the first night is any indication of what’s to come, I may have a major problem. The purpose of wearing this equipment is to help keep me breath- ing, which hopefully will allow me to sleep through the night. On my maid- en voyage with the humidifier, hose, and nose apparatus, I was so anxiety- ridden that I didn’t sleep a wink. In fact, I had less sleep last night than at any time in the past five years. Not a good sign.

Hannah Berman lives in Woodmere and is a licensed real-estate broker associated with Marjorie Hausman Realty. She can be reached at Savtahannah@aol.com or 516-902-3733.

And it came to pass on the third day (Bamidbar 19:16)

A Galilean scholar lectured before Rabbi Chisda:

“Blessed be the Merciful One who gave a three-fold Torah (consisting of Torah, Prophets and, Scriptures) to a three-fold people (comprising Kohanim, Levites, and Israelites) through a third-born (Moses, the third child of Amram and Yocheved) on the third day of the third month.”

(Talmud, Shabbos 88a)

and Yocheved) on the third day of the third month.” (Talmud, Shabbos 88a) 5 TOWNS JEWISH
and Yocheved) on the third day of the third month.” (Talmud, Shabbos 88a) 5 TOWNS JEWISH
Dear Editor, Since we made aliyah, I have really missed your paper, especially the edi-
Dear Editor, Since we made aliyah, I have really missed your paper, especially the edi-

Dear Editor, Since we made aliyah, I have really missed your paper, especially the edi- torials. Thanks for sharing it online at

your people; but, nevertheless, you shall not stand by the blood of your neighbor (and you must speak out in order to prevent harm).”

Continued on Page 37


I do not challenge Rav Ginzberg’s

Robin Weinstein

sensitivity to the laws of shemiras


ha’lashon, chas v’shalom! I am, con-

Dear Editor, Rav Aryeh Zev Ginzberg’s article “Reading Is Believing” (on the cover of last week’s Five Towns Jewish Times) correctly warns us about the dangers of lashon hara and slander that is read- ily available in newspapers, magazines, and websites. He points to Rav Chaim Volozhiner’s comment on the juxtapo- sition of the clauses of Lo seileich rachil regarding not speaking slander and Lo sa‘amod al dam rei‘echa regard- ing not taking another’s life: Don’t cause harm through your speech. However, he could also have quoted the Netziv (See Ha’amek Davar; Ha’amek She’eilah, Parashat Vayikra 68:2) who explains that although there is a prohibition of defamation (clause 1), that prohibition is overridden by the obligation to save another or to tes- tify in his behalf (clause 2). Thus, the verse should be read, “You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among

cerned, however, that there is more to the issue than he allows in his article. Lashon hara is a tool of abuse—both when derogatory speech defames inno- cent people, destroying their reputa- tions, but also when warnings to refrain from derogatory speech are used to silence victims of abuse who cry out for help. As careful as we must be not to speak, listen to, or repeat dis- paraging information when it is forbid- den, we must not allow the threat of speaking lashon hara to silence the cry of innocent victims. Victims of abuse need to speak out, for all kinds of personal reasons, in order to help themselves. Their sup- porters need to speak out in order to help them. And the community needs to speak out in order to hold the perpe- trators responsible and in order to pro- tect other innocents from potential harm. All must be diligent in meeting the conditions required for such

potential harm. All must be diligent in meeting the conditions required for such 34 June 1,
5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June 1, 2006 35

Secrets Of The 15-Minute Chef

We Could All Use A Little Help




Shavuos is here, another wonder- ful Yom Tov that just seems to have popped out of nowhere—or rather, come in a flash along with this oh-so- oppressive humidity and heat. I may be slightly more sensitive to the tem- perature, as I am as huge as a house or as big as a barn (take your pick) during the final days of my pregnan- cy. While everything else seems to be moving in super-fast-forward motion, these last few days of my third and final trimester feel like they are being measured in months, not hours. And now, I must cook, devise a game plan for my daughter should I go into labor on Yom Tov or Shabbos, and figure out a way to feel normal and not like a schmatte that’s been run- ning ragged (or, as my favorite saying goes, “like a chicken without a head”) from one thing to the next. I think the answer is to do special things for myself and my family, take time out, and lean on others as much as humanly possible. There’s no shame in that, you know: looking to others for help, support, advice, babysitting and—most importantly—sharing in the cooking load. The more your guests, friends, and family contribute to the meal, the more heimishe it is. You know people feel so happy when they can be of help, when they can

bring their famous cheesecake (think last week’s recipe), their to-die-for lasagna, or just a couple of sodas. A lot of us tend to be very control- ling. Okay, I’ll admit it—we tend to be control freaks. It’s that “my way or the highway” mentality, the “if you want something done, and done right, then do it yourself” attitude, that “I need to oversee every detail” approach to life. Trust me—coming from a recovering perfectionist, overachieving, obses- sive, multitasking, “Jamie, you have too much on your plate again” per- son—that whole “I have to do it all” style is completely overrated. Here’s another favorite saying:

“Don’t be afraid to delegate.” I’ve found that some of the most success- ful people in the world, from corpo- rate CEOs to mommies of 10, are great delegaters. Those who can relinquish the right amount of con- trol and power to the right people, at the right time, seem to get everything done. And when it feels like every- thing is crashing down on you and there isn’t enough time to shop (let alone cook), to sleep (let alone pam- per yourself), or to even find some- thing in your closet to wear (let alone iron)—just delegate!! My mother-in-law takes my daugh- ter for a night here and there. This past week, I used her expert overnight babysitting skills to enjoy and cele-

her expert overnight babysitting skills to enjoy and cele- brate my birthday with a nice dinner

brate my birthday with a nice dinner and my even nicer hubby. My step- mother-in-law, who is coming for Shabbos and Yom Tov, is practically cooking all the meals and will also obviously be on hand should we go into labor. And my mother has started shopping for me this last month— buying enough fresh (organic!— woohoo, because she’s paying!) fruits and veggies to feed my entire block. So in the end, instead of everything coming crashing down on me, it seems to all be coming together. My only remaining issue is finding some- thing to wear in this heat. But you know what? My new awesome neigh- bor offered me her light Shabbos maternity robe and, after writing this article, I just may just go knock on her door and take her up on the offer. Here’s one more tip before I sign off, especially if you don’t have as generous of a mother-in-law, stepmother-in-law, and mother (who lives for shopping for organic produce, among other things):

When I do cook, I find that if I cook something posh (British-talk for “fancy”) then I need to cook less. Which means that if the dish is some- how special, unique, or out of the ordi- nary, I feel less of a need to go over- board with how many dishes I serve. So here is a posh, and oh-so-delish (Jamie- talk for “delicious”), gourmet dairy salad that’s perfect for Shavuos. Enjoy, and good Yom Tov.

Goat-Cheese Walnut Salad Prep Time: 12 minutes Cook Time: none

Chill Time: none Yield: 6 to 8 servings Ingredients:

2 5-oz. package mixed field greens

1 1 2 cups dried cranberries or Craisins

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 5 1 2-oz. log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled 1 1 2 cups walnuts For dressing:

2 1 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard

1 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped

7 Tbsp. olive oil 1 2 tsp. salt

1 4 tsp. pepper Steps:

1. Mix greens, cranberries, and

onion in large salad bowl.

2. Sprinkle cheese and walnuts over

salad mixture.

3. For dressing, mix vinegar, mus-

tard, and thyme in small bowl.

4. Gradually whisk in olive oil; sea-

son with salt and pepper.

5. Toss dressing with salad immedi-

ately before serving. Tip: To bring out a nice roasted nutty flavor, place the walnuts in a shallow baking dish and roast them in

the oven for 10 minutes at 350°F.

Jamie Geller is an NYU graduate and former senior writer/producer for HBO. She quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom, publish a quick-recipe cookbook, write newspaper and magazine articles, host and produce a kosher food TV pilot, teach dance classes at the local gym, and care for her husband and baby girl in Far Rockaway.

Jamie’s cookbook will be released by Feldheim during the Fall of 2006. You can contact her at jamie@jamiegeller.com.

Feldheim during the Fall of 2006. You can contact her at jamie@jamiegeller.com . 36 June 1,


Continued from Page 34

speech, including knowledge of or ver- ification of the facts, proper motiva- tion, the curbing of personal animosi- ties, no exaggeration, and the like. Allowances must be made for persist- ent rumors and circumstantial evi- dence when their credibility meets halachic standards. Too often, our community, its lead- ers, and its institutions have failed those who were abused. I know this firsthand from speaking to many credi- ble victims. These victims have felt ignored by the establishment and feel they have no place to turn but to the media. Some are appalled by this pub-

lic exposure of our failings in the news- papers and invoke the principle of

h . illul Hashem, the desecration of G-d’s

Name, a value that obliges us to live in

ways that protect and enhance the rep-

utation and integrity of Hashem, His Torah, and the Jewish people. Airing our dirty laundry, they argue—especial- ly in the general press—is deplorable. Not surprisingly, this is one of the argu- ments these very same people use to prevent victims from coming forward and speaking out in the first place. I disagree with their argument. The

h . illul Hashem was not perpetrated by

the victims and those that speak out in

their defense; it was committed by those rabbis or teachers when they

abused. The h illul Hashem was perpe-

trated when those in positions of authority and responsibility refused to

come to the aid of the victims. The

h . illul Hashem was perpetrated when

Jewish law was misinterpreted and

misapplied. The h illul Hashem was

perpetrated when vulnerable girls and

boys, men and women, were sacrificed

on the altars of individual, institution- al, and communal interests. Articles such as those in New York magazine and discussions on the web—and this very article—would have been unnec- essary if our community leaders would have acted responsibly in the first place. That is the real h illul Hashem!

Ultimately we will be judged by how we respond to the cries of victims and

what we do to protect them—or to pro- tect ourselves. When we fail our peo- ple and we undermine our faith, we will be condemned. But while the judgment of the general community may be harsh, the judgment of Heaven will be even harsher. Rabbi Mark Dratch West Hempstead




And all the people saw the voices

(Bamidbar 20:15)

They saw what is ordinarily heard and they heard what is ordinarily seen.

(Midrash Lekach Tov; Rashi)

heard and they heard what is ordinarily seen. (Midrash Lekach Tov; Rashi) 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES
heard and they heard what is ordinarily seen. (Midrash Lekach Tov; Rashi) 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES
Israel Day Gala Concert Dr. Joseph Frager (L), chairman of the board of American Friends

Israel Day Gala Concert

Israel Day Gala Concert Dr. Joseph Frager (L), chairman of the board of American Friends of

Dr. Joseph Frager (L), chairman of the board of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim, and Dr. Paul Brody (R). Both are chairmen of the Israel Day Parade concert which will take place this Sunday, June 4, in Central Park. Among the featured performers will be Shloime Dachs, Blue Fringe, Shlomo Katz, and Yoni Shlomo.

performers will be Shloime Dachs, Blue Fringe, Shlomo Katz, and Yoni Shlomo. 38 June 1, 2006
Dear Esther, My husband of 24 years is very happy to be with me and

Dear Esther, My husband of 24 years is very happy

to be with me and no one else. He never

wants company. He doesn’t need people to visit, and he’s never thrilled about going out to other people’s homes. He’s always been this way, and even though I’m a much more social person, I’ve kind of gone along with it. We were busy raising our children and the house never felt empty, so I wasn’t aware of our lack of good friends. Now, with our kids more or less out of the house, I suddenly feel an enor- mous desire to be with other people. I realize more and more how interesting

everyone is in their own way, and I find myself really wanting to get to know new people and, as you so often write about, “connecting.” I recently invited two couples over for Shabbos lunch. It was going pretty well, but then, as soon as we finished benching, my husband got up and said he needed to take a nap. I was horri- fied. I think the two couples looked surprised and suddenly got up to leave.

I think they felt as though they were

being kicked out of the house. I was speechless, not knowing what to say. Naturally, I was very embarrassed. My husband is a nice guy in gener- al, but just doesn’t need too many peo- ple in his life. He doesn’t seem to understand what my needs are all about. I don’t know how to get through to him. Though I seem to be enough for him, he’s not enough for me (though I do love him). How can I get him to understand that I’ve grown and want my home to feel alive with friends and good times? I feel lonely and am starting to resent my husband for his isolation. I also feel dragged down by him. My world is too narrow and I’m ready for it to open up. Any ideas for me?


Dear Lonely, How nice that you’re discovering the importance of friends and delighting in the special gifts that everyone has to offer. It’s easy to be distracted from this aspect of your persona while building a life with a husband and raising kids. Now that your children are grown, it’s a perfect time to get to know yourself and others better. One way of doing this is by establishing close ties with female friends, who can inspire you in ways you never thought possible. They will provide a shoulder to lean on when the going gets rough, a person to laugh with until your sides hurt, and someone who can listen to you in that special way that only a female friend can. Though I want to address your hus- band’s lack of interest in socializing, I am first struck by the fact that you feel you need him on board to make friends. There are couple friends, who are wonderful to have, but tend to be “light” in nature, and then there are those amazing “one-on-one” female buddies, who can be intense and spec-

tacular. (Do you get the feeling I’m very fond of my female friends?) It

doesn’t sound as though you’ve made these connections for yourself, and perhaps you’re using your husband as an excuse for it not happening for you. So where do you begin? Getting close to others can be challenging, but hardly impossible. You may consider joining a few women’s groups (such as Amit), or a book club, or a group that does volunteer work. Any time you work or play side-by-side with others, you have an opportunity to connect. Take a chance. Ask someone out for lunch. Yes, there is the risk of being rejected, but if you don’t take risks you’ll never advance your cause. But I doubt that your husband is really the one holding you back.

Back to the defendant (your hus- band). It sounds as though he is some- what of a hermit, and that’s working for him just fine. But it’s not working for you. He may never understand your need for people besides himself; he doesn’t have to understand that need. But that fact shouldn’t stop you from learning the art of negotiating. And that’s where compromise comes into play. Surely, there are certain things he wants from you, whether it’s to sit home with him several evenings a week doing crossword puzzles, or baking his favorite cake, or calling his mother five times a week. Find your leverage. The key is that he doesn’t have to want to have company, but he has to be a mensch about it and do it simply because it pleases you. Give to get. One hand washes the other…you bake his cake, he tells you how often he can tolerate Shabbos guests. Will once a month work for him? Fine. After that, negotiate what having company means to you. Spell out the parameters, because sometimes people can seem a bit dense. Being a gracious host, no

naps until the last guest has left, help- ing with the cleanup—these are just some examples of what needs could look like, and these concepts need to be discussed up front. Many women reading this column will be envious of the fact that you seem to satisfy your husband so totally and he only has eyes for you. In that respect, consider yourself very lucky. Some husbands demand to have guests every Shabbos, which would lead one to wonder whether they dread being alone with their wives. It’s kind of sweet that yours enjoys being alone with you so much. He sounds like a good man who will be open to a discussion and, hopefully, a working compromise. But regardless of how successful you are at negotiat- ing this area of your life, try to keep forging ahead with your own relation- ships. That work is yours, and yours alone. But it is so very worth the effort! Esther

Esther Mann, LMSW has a private practice in Lawrence. She can be reached at 516-314-2295 or mindbiz44@aol.com.

practice in Lawrence. She can be reached at 516-314-2295 or mindbiz44@aol.com. 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June
OHEL’S Next Tourney In Lawrence On June 26 Nearly 150 golfers participated in OHEL’s two

OHEL’S Next Tourney In Lawrence On June 26 Nearly 150 golfers participated in OHEL’s two annual Chol Hamoed golf tournaments in Florida and California. Both tournaments were played in beautiful, sunny weather and featured great food, prizes, and great giveaways to all who participated. Nearly 80 golfers participated in the OHEL Invitational that took place at the beautiful Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami and was sponsored by Meridian Capital Group. Each player received deluxe golf club travel bags as gifts. OHEL’s friend and benefactor, Milton Cohen of UKT Tours, which oversees the yearly Pesach program at the Doral, provided a delicious lunch and buffet dinner. The winning foursome of the Florida

tournament was: Michael Pinewski, David Neiss, Jacob Harman, and Evan Honigsfeld. The winner of the JetBlue Challenge was David Neiss. Approximately 62 golfers played in OHEL’s “California Classic” at the Ted Robinson 27-Hole Golf Course, Rancho Las Palmas Marriott Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, California. Hosted and sponsored by Chaim Kaminetzky and Pesach With The Chevrah,” this year’s successful tour- nament was won by Robbie, Eric, Judah and Adam Silverman. The JetBlue Challenge winner was Michael Greenspan; Meir and Robyn Gelman of Los Angeles won the trip to Israel sponsored by Pesach with the Chevra and Binyamina Wines. OHEL thanks Mordy Sohn and Ezra Birnbaum, the chairmen of the Florida

and California tournaments respec- tively, for all their help in making each tourney a success. OHEL also thanks “Lobo” for donating the golf balls used in the tournament. You can join OHEL for the upcom- ing golf event on June 26 at The Seawane Country Club in Lawrence. Last year’s event was sold out, so regis- ter today at www.ohelgolf.com. The real winners of all OHEL golf tournaments are the thousands of chil- dren and families who depend upon OHEL—they are the beneficiaries of the day!

Read About A Good Explosion By Rivki Rosenwald “I’ve had it with rising gasoline prices!”…“Is the U.S. left with no choice but to negotiate with the Hamas terrorists?”…“Is our govern- ment taking any concrete steps to stop the threat of a nuclear bomb from exploding?” Are these familiar anxieties and frustrations that plague you? Well, there certainly was a good

that plague you? Well, there certainly was a good explosion last week in Washington DC—where 550

explosion last week in Washington DC—where 550 motivated Jewish lay- men, exploding with purpose and ener- gy, were set loose through the halls of Congress. NORPAC (a national organ- ization for political action) brought about 20 busloads of concerned men, women and students (among whom were many successful professionals who wisely took the day off) to DC to meet with our Senators and Congressmen. The meetings were held with one congressman or senator at a time, with his/her complete attention focused exclusively on the points the individual groups were presenting. So, what was being addressed? Bills! Legislation that is pending right now in Congress. Bills that affect the security of the United States and Israel. Bills that get buried on the bottom of the pile of hundreds of bills up for legislation. We show up to make things happen! We cause the statesmen to focus on our issues and get assurances that they will vote for it. And by going there we break through the personal malaise many of us suffer—speculation, conversation and frustration without action to stop the problems and the threats we face. We encourage our congressman to co- sponsor such bills as the Palestinian Anti- Terrorism Act, which would place strong economic sanctions on Hamas until they decry terrorism in their streets and insti- tutions and further obligate them to rec- ognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state; the U.S.–Israel Energy Cooperation Act, which would fund joint ventures between Israel and the U.S. to find alternative sources of energy using Israel’s proven scientific and technologi- cal expertise; and the Iran Freedom Support Act, which would penalize for- eign companies that invest in Iran’s ener- gy sector as well as provide assistance to pro-democratic forces in Iran and would fund independent broadcasters to Iran. We elucidate the strong points of the bill and explain why it should be passed— now! We engage in dialogue that helps us understand the thinking of our represen- tatives and get an idea of where they stand and who else’s support to seek to help the bill get passed. We met with over 400 Congressmen and Senators. We exercised our demo- cratic right to affect our present and future. Everyone who went felt the opti- mism of making something happen. An extremely rewarding aspect of the mission was the opportunity to bring children along (from 8th grade to gradu- ate students) and let them learn to lobby their congressman directly, thereby gain- ing the realization that they can take an active role in affecting the course of their lives and the actions of our country. It was especially exciting for me to share this with my eighth grader. Though she will be going to Washington next week on her graduation trip and learning much about our government, her experiences on that trip will not be comparable to speaking directly to senators and con- gressmen on vital issues. Last year, only two people from Long Island were among the group. This year there were forty. Hopefully, next year when NORPAC (a bipartisan group rep- resenting Israel’s interests in the U.S.) creates this pilgrimage opportunity again,

Continued on Page 42

5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June 1, 2006 41


Continued from Page 40

we Long Islanders will grab our children and go join the explosion of energy. Thus many more of us will be among those rac- ing through the offices of congressmen expending our energy lobbying for the bills that affect us most. Trust me, these are the kind of explosions we want to be setting off. If you would like further informa- tion about NORPAC, visit their web- site at www.norpac.net, or call 201- 788-5133.

Rivki Rosenwald is an attorney who lives in Lawrence with her husband and five children.

On Deathbed, Nazi Turns Over Parchment Cut From Torah Scroll On an official visit to Germany, Motty Doten, head of Israel’s Galilee Regional Council was approached by Deter Hertzig, a member of the German Bundestadt (parliament) with an astounding story. The German official’s father admitted on his deathbed, that he had been a pilot in Hitler’s Luftwaffe (air force) and had bombed many synagogues. On one occa- sion, he visited one of these synagogues and found, strewn on the floor, a scroll made of parchment, which he thought would make good material for an I.D. folder, and he cut a piece from the Torah scroll for that purpose. Now, on his deathbed, he asked his son to hand it over to the first Jew he met and request that he give it to a holy rabbi in Israel who would surely know what to do with it. He explained that, in an age of Holocaust

to do with it. He explained that, in an age of Holocaust The excised piece of

The excised piece of a Torah scroll that a Nazi made into an I.D. holder for himself is shown by Rabbi Yitzchok Grossman of Israel to Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis at her Hineni Torah class as another chilling reminder of the Holocaust and an important message for the Jewish people.

denial, he wanted the Jews to have proof positive that it really happened. The Nazi died soon after making that request. Motty Doten gave the I.D. and wallet made from the Torah Scroll to Rabbi Yitzchok David Grossman, founder and dean of Migdal Ohr in Israel. When the rabbi read the words on the parchment, he began to tremble. The terrifying pas- sages were from the tochachah—the chapter of rebuke in which the Torah warns of terrible tragedies that will befall the Jewish people if they abandon G-d’s Torah (Devarim 28:57–62). Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, herself a Holocaust survivor, who was appointed by President Bush to the U.S. Holocaust

Memorial Council, said, “We cannot simply attribute this to coincidence. That Nazi could have cut a piece from any part of the Torah, but G-d led him to these terrifying passages, and it reaches us now, when the president of Iran, Ahmadinejad, Hitler’s successor, lays his plans for a new Holocaust and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Rabbi Grossman visited Rebbetzin Jungreis’s Torah class in Manhattan, the home of the internationally renowned Hineni outreach organiza- tion, and displayed the Torah wallet, the Nazi I.D. Rabbi Grossman and the rebbetzin explained the meaning of these passages to hundreds of

young professional who gasped at this proof-positive evidence of the Holocaust and its implications for today.

Alphonse D’Amato Receives 5T Jewish Council’s Tenzer Award Former New York Senator Alphonse M. D’Amato will receive the Five Towns Jewish Council’s Twelfth Herbert Tenzer Memorial Legislative Award at its annual breakfast. The event will be held at Temple Hillel on Rosedale Road in North Woodmere, on Sunday, June 11, at 9:30 a.m. The Tenzer family gen- erously funds this event. Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, Principal of Bernstein Global Wealth Management, will make the presentation. The award is being given to Mr. D’Amato in gratitude for his successful effort, as Chairman of the United States Banking Committee, to restore assets to Holocaust survivors and their heirs, ultimately forcing the Swiss Banks to pay over $1 billion in restitu- tion to survivors. He served as Special Master in the Holocaust settlement case with the German and Austrian banks, having been appointed by the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York. In 1995, Mr. D’Amato was selected as the National Republican Senatorial Chairman. His political skills have helped elect scores of local, state, and federal candidates to office. He is cur- rently one of the most sought after public policy and business develop- ment strategists in the country. He is a founding partner of Park Strategies

ment strategists in the country. He is a founding partner of Park Strategies 42 June 1,
ment strategists in the country. He is a founding partner of Park Strategies 42 June 1,

LLC, established in 1998, which has provided advice and counsel to its cor- porate clients throughout the nation. During his tenure in the Senate (1981- 1999), he served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, overseeing legislation affecting America’s financial institutions, banking, public and private housing, urban development, and foreign trade promotion. He served on the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate Subcommittees on Health Care, International Trade, and Taxation and IRS Oversight. He was the Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission). He authored the Libya Sanctions Act to combat efforts by rene- gade nations to finance international ter- rorism through oil field development. During his tenure on the Senate’s Caucus on International Narcotics Control, Mr. D’Amato was a leader in the fight against illegal drugs. He has appeared frequently in the Five Towns, most notably, when he accompanied President Ronald Reagan to Temple Hillel and the home of its rabbi, Morris Friedman. He was honored by the Conference of Jewish Organizations of Nassau County (COJONC) during its first din- ner. He appears regularly on radio and television. Mr. D’Amato and his wife live in Island Park. Jeffrey Wiesenfeld is the son of Holocaust survivors. He served in the foreign counterintelligence division of the FBI. He then became an assistant to Congressman Thomas Manton and Queens Borough President Claire Shulman. He subsequently was appointed Chief-of-Staff to Mayor Koch’s Traffic Commissioner. At the conclusion of the Koch Administration, he became the New York Metropolitan Area Executive Assistant to Senator Alphonse D’Amato. He was responsible for many of the Senator’s activities and was his personal representative in the eight counties of the downstate region. In 1995, he became the Executive Assistant to New York State Governor George Pataki for the New York Metropolitan Region. In 1999, he became the New York City Regional Director of the Empire State Development Corporation. He is cur- rently a member of the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York, the board of the United Nations Development Corporation, and a Commissioner within the Long Island North Shore Heritage Area Planning Commission. He also is the Director of the Boards of the Long Island Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America; New York Metropolitan Region and National Governing Board of the American Jewish Congress; Berkshire Hills-Emanuel Camps; Queensborough Community College Holocaust Resource Center; Open University of Israel; Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre (as Chairman); North Shore Hebrew Academy; Great Neck Arts Center; Jewish Community Relations Council of New York; and the Advisory Board of the Rubin Museum of Art. He lives in Great Neck, New York with his wife and daughter. Herbert Tenzer represented the Five Towns Community during his two terms in the United States Congress. He lived

in Lawrence and was one of the founders of Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence, New York. He created the Save the Children Foundation, which rescued children from the Holocaust. He was one of the founders of the United Jewish Appeal; the America-Israel Friendship League, where he served as President for over 25 years; Cardozo Law School; Crown Heights Yeshiva; Friends of Survivors; the Jewish Community Relations Council; B’nai Zion, where he was a National Vice President; the Salute to Israel Parade; the Long Island Lodge of B’nai Brith; and Yeshiva University. He and his wife Florence were actively involved in the Lawrence-Cedarhurst and Woodmere Chapters of Hadassah. He participated in the early efforts of the Five Towns Jewish Council. He was also the Chairman of Barton’s Candy Corporation. This event is free and open to the public. For further information, call


Continued on Page 44

further information, call 516-374-6374. Continued on Page 44 Linda Dascher, RN, (left), Peninsula Hospital Center’s

Linda Dascher, RN, (left), Peninsula Hospital Center’s vice-president of performance improvement, and Edward Ozechowski (right), administrative director of cardio-pulmonary services, present an achievement award to Jeanne Gilligan, RT, RRT (center) for her exemplary leadership and collaboration with the Intensive Care Unit staff as well as for her valuable service in patient care rounds.

Care Unit staff as well as for her valuable service in patient care rounds. 5 TOWNS


June 1, 2006



Continued from Page 43

MAY Annual Dinner Mesivta Ateres Yaakov of Greater Long Island—Ruth and Hyman Simon High School cel- ebrated its third annual ban- quet on May 10 at the Sands at Atlantic Beach. Under the dynamic leadership of its mena- hel, Rabbi Mordechai Yaffe, Ph.D., and its principal of gen- eral studies, Rabbi Sam Rudansky, Ateres Yaakov has emerged as a vibrant Torah institution that provides a supe- rior Torah education supple- mented by an outstanding gen- eral-studies curriculum. The smorgasbord provided by Sharmel Caterers provided a perfect backdrop for friends

by Sharmel Caterers provided a perfect backdrop for friends The third annual dinner of Mesivta Ateres

The third annual dinner of Mesivta Ateres Yaakov took place on Wednesday, May 10, at the Sands at Atlantic Beach. Above, left: Honorees Barry and Robin Picker with Howard Weitzman, Nassau County comptroller. Above, right: Honorees, top row (L-R): Rabbi Menachem Brick, Baruch Singer, Howard Weitzman, Leibel Zisman, Itzi Laub; bottom row (L-R): Leah Brick, Susie Singer, Myrna Zisman, and Irene Laub.

Leah Brick, Susie Singer, Myrna Zisman, and Irene Laub. 44 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS JEWISH

44 June 1, 2006


and family to gather before the main banquet and program. The delicious main course was served as soon as the attendees entered the main ballroom. The program began right on sched- ule. Following the recital of Tehillim in an act of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel, there was a surprise presentation to the outgoing co-presidents of the PTA, Mrs. Goldy Friedman and Mrs. Shari Weiss. The spirit and love of Torah was clearly evident as those individuals who have maintained a continuous and deep involvement with Mesivta Ateres Yaakov were recognized. The banquet chairmen, Dr. Steven Kadish and Michael Salzbank, along with the journal chairman, David Portal, Esq., joined the entire community in extend- ing gratitude to Itzi and Irene Laub, Guests of Honor; Leibel and Myrna Zisman, Grandparents of the Year; Rabbi Menachem and Leah Brick, Parents of the Year; Barry and Robin Picker, Amud HaTorah Awardees; and Baruch and Susie Singer, Amud HaChesed Awardees. The video presentation, which highlighted the unique brand of chinuch that is pro- vided at the mesivta, was thoroughly enjoyed by all. In addition, Rabbi Yaffe’s indi- vidualized remarks prior to each of the presentations provided an intimate and per- sonal touch that truly cap- tured the warmth that perme- ates everything that the mesivta does. As one guest commented, “you could feel the tremendous warmth that everyone involved in the mesivta puts forth. From the video, it was clear that they truly are combining academic excellence…in Torah learn- ing and in the general stud- ies, while maintaining the

Continued on Page 47

A Five Towns Simcha

Photos By Captured Images

Bar Mitzvah of Sholom Kanner took place this past week on Shabbos, Parashas Bamidbar, at
Bar Mitzvah of Sholom Kanner
took place this past week on
Shabbos, Parashas Bamidbar, at
the Lawrence Country Club.
Inset: Sholom with his grand-
parents, Eli and Greta Hirmes.
Country Club. Inset: Sholom with his grand- parents, Eli and Greta Hirmes. 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES
Country Club. Inset: Sholom with his grand- parents, Eli and Greta Hirmes. 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES


June 1, 2006


46 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES

46 June 1, 2006



Continued from Page 44

closeness of a family. In today’s cli- mate, this is really amazing.” Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the evening was the consideration for the guests and supporters. The entire program concluded punctually as planned, and while the guests were able to leave at a very reasonable hour, many remained to partake of the Viennese table and to savor the sweet- ness of the evening just a little longer.

JCC Adult Education The JCC of the Greater Five Towns invites everyone to “Learn to Prepare Super Summer Salads,” Wednesday, June 7, at 10:00 a.m. The fee is $45. These new salads will add color and fla- vor to your table. Fennel mango salad, spicy grilled corn salad with black bean and roasted red pepper, and more! This adult-education program is part of the Kosher Culinary Institue for June and July. The class will be held at 207 Grove Avenue, Cedarhurst. Pre-registra- tion for all JCC classes is a must. Please call Susan at 516-569-6733.

Chidon HaTanach The Hebrew Academy of Long Beach DRS Yeshiva High School for Boys takes great pride in announcing their representation in the interna- tional Chidon HaTanach Bible Competition next year. Yehuda Grossman (’08) placed second in the National Bible Contest on Sunday May 14. The United States National Bible Contest is coordinated by the Jewish Zionist Education Department of the Jewish Agency. Yehuda quali- fied for this national contest by taking and passing three qualifying regional exams. These regional examinations are administered to over 500 students from around the country, representing over 35 middle and high schools. The national contest took place at the Ramaz Middle School on May 14, and Yehuda came in second place com- peting against other finalists from around the country. Yehuda was one of only four students in the competition moving on to the International Bible Contest, which takes place in Israel next Yom Ha’atzmaut. This interna- tional competition brings together contest winners from all over the Diaspora and Israel for a two-week Tanach Camp, during which they tour the country and meet with important government officials. The competition itself is broadcast live on Israeli televi- sion and is attended by the Prime Minister of Israel. Congratulations to Yehuda and his family on his success, and hatzlachah in next year’s interna- tional competition!

Dedicated Learning A Pesach learn-a-thon was organ- ized by Rav Shlomo Drebin, a rebbi at Yeshivas Toras Chaim Of South Shore, and talmidim from grades 5 through 8 joined in enthusiastically. Each pro- cured sponsorship for every additional period of learning that they completed during vacation time. Their parents were happy to support two such worth- while causes—limud Torah and the kiruv rechokim work undertaken at the

Shuvu School in Beer Sheva. Together, they raised $4,000 for the Shuvu stu- dents who are the children of Russian immigrants from secular homes. Rav Binyomin Kamenetzky, shlita, who established the yeshiva in the fast- growing Hewlett community in the Five Towns area seven years ago, was a friend of Rav Avrohom Pam, zt”l, founder of the Shuvu Schools move- ment in Israel. Rav Binyomin suggest- ed to Rav Pam that yeshivos in the U.S. should each adopt one of the Shuvu schools and make it their ongoing tzedakah project. Rav Pam was impressed by this idea and comforted that some of the fundraising burden of Shuvu would be shared in this way. Rav Mordechai Kamenetzky, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Toras Chaim and son of Rav Binyomin, explained: “The learn-a-thon has become one of the various annual fundraising events through which all the yeshiva students help their brothers in Israel, thereby connecting students of Torah around the world in the spirit of acheinu B’nei Yisrael.

of Torah around the world in the spirit of acheinu B’nei Yisrael. ” ❖ 5 TOWNS
of Torah around the world in the spirit of acheinu B’nei Yisrael. ” ❖ 5 TOWNS

Direct From Jerusalem





5TJT Update: May 28, 2006—In the year 2004, as Ariel Sharon betrayed his election platform and ordered the strategic surrender of the Gaza Strip, the spinmeisters worked frantically to create a new poli-marketing term to describe this most bizarre and unpre- dictable turn of events. Due to the uni- lateral nature of the Gush Katif sur- render and the increasingly warlike rhetoric issuing from the rising Hamas power base, the Oslo-nian terminology of “peace plan” was neither applicable nor marketable to an Israeli population thoroughly saturated in the blood of the post-Oslo travesty. The term “peace process” clearly implies an active and willing partner in the process, which even the surrender- drunk, post-1967 Left could no longer sell to the average Israeli voter.

And one day in the year 2003 or 2004, the term “disengagement” was coined and applied to the unilateral surrender of strategic southern Israel and the wholesale and wanton destruction of the 21 Jewish commu-

ment or connection.” No peace process or deluded Oslo fantasies of peace here—rather the end of engage- ment; a divorce. And truly, what the disengagement represented was the beginning of a divorce process from a fictitious marriage partner known as the “Palestinians” and an aborted wedding known as Oslo. While it is rare to find a political

It sounds so positive and healthy, yet “convergence” is a word-mask for a remarkably Chamberlain-like surrender of highly strategic land to the genocidal Hamas enemy.

nities that had flourished for decades in that region. “Disengagement” is defined as either “the breaking off of military action against an enemy” or “the act of releasing from an attach-

position that is 100 percent correct or incorrect, the security arguments of the proponents of the Gaza “disen- gagement” have been proven to be thoroughly bankrupt under a daily

have been proven to be thoroughly bankrupt under a daily rain of missiles emanating from the

rain of missiles emanating from the “disengaged” Gaza. And now, in the post-Sharon era, the rise to power of Hamas has ren- dered even the process of disengage- ment to be a non-starter. While we have defined “disengagement” as a divorce, the terminology still implies

the existence of a partner to divorce from. The democratic, landslide elec- tion of Hamas unveiled the Arab popu- lation as a toxic and adversarial entity; any language of disengagement no longer fit reality. So, the spin doctors worked overtime and have applied a new term, “convergence,” to what is essentially a continuation of unilateral surrenders such as Lebanon, Hebron, Gush Katif, and now the Yehuda and Shomron Biblical heartlands. “Convergence” is defined as “a coming together to unite a common interest or focus.” It sounds so positive and healthy, yet “convergence” is a word- mask for a remarkably Chamberlain- like surrender of highly strategic land

to the genocidal Hamas enemy. The political advantage of the

term “convergence” is its implication

of an entirely internal process, one

that neither interacts with nor inter- faces with another entity. Perhaps

what Olmert should be declaring upon his “triumphant” return to

Israel is, “There will be convergence


our time.” I was one of many political analysts


shock during Sharon’s betrayal of

the southern Gaza settlements, and we all struggled to bring some under- standing to this painful and historic political Benedict Arnold. It was not simple then, and it remains difficult now to portray Sharon as an outright coward and traitor. Let us theorize

the following: Sharon had been wit- ness to a series of Prime Ministerships that went down in the flames of broken Arab promises. One after the other—Peres, Netanyahu, Barak—they all relied upon Arab compliance to further their political platforms, and all resembled political Charlie Browns to the “Palestinian” Lucy, pulling back the football at the last moment. Perhaps the calculating Sharon dis- covered a new “unilateral” political strategy for survival as an Israeli

Prime Minister, and that is: Don’t ask for or rely upon agreements with the Arabs. Certainly, all who were close

to Sharon make it clear that he did

not trust the Arabs in the slightest measure. Little did Sharon figure that his leadership would be cut short by ironic and Divine intervention, and not by Arab diplomatic betrayal.

Essentially, Sharon introduced a

new survival tactic for Israeli leaders,

a “political unilateralism” that is

structured to insulate Israeli govern- ments from the two Arab constants:

terrorism and political obfuscation. And we see that Sharon’s chief stu-

dent, Ehud Olmert, is following the path of this delusional and defeatist policy—a path laced with European approval and 18 standing ovations from a joint session of the two hous-

es of Congress. How the House of

Representatives passes the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act by an overwhelming 361-37 vote, and just

the next day applauds the Olmert plan of terrorist appeasement and the creation of “Hamastan” defies logic and clearly reveals the Western psy- chosis in confronting the Islamic reli- gious jihad. In 1937, David Ben-Gurion declared as follows: “No Jew has the right to surrender any parts of the Land of Israel. No Jewish group has this right. Even if all the Jews living today want to surrender land, they have no right to give up any amount of land. This is the right of the Jewish people in all generations to have this land. Even at some time, if there will be some who want to give up land, they have no right and no authority to do this to further generations. The Jewish people are not obligated and will not bend to any surrender. The right to this land in its entirety is ours for eternity. Until the complete Redemption comes, we will not move

from this historical right.” In July 2002, new Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a speech in New York City: “We are tired of fighting, tired of being heroes, tired of winning, tired of striking at our enemies.” Notice any change in the 65 years between the statements? Ehud, if you are tired, can we recommend an extended hiatus from politics and your charade of Jewish leadership and statesmanship. Because, sir, the Arabs are not tired of fighting and of striking at Jewish targets, and they smell victory in your “convergence” of Jewish cowardice and unilateral national surrender.

Shlomo Wollins, based in Jerusalem, is the founder and publisher of israelreporter.com. Mr. Wollins has lived in Israel for over six years, and has focused on the relevant issues for over a decade. Mr. Wollins can be reached in Israel at (0)54-7388-054 or at shlomo@israelreporter.com.

And when you make Me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone: for if you lift up your sword upon it, you have defiled it (Bamidbar 20:22)

Iron was created to shorten the life of man, and the Altar was created to lengthen the life of man; so it is not fitting that that which shortens should be lifted upon that which lengthens.

(Talmud, Middot 3:4)

which shortens should be lifted upon that which lengthens. (Talmud, Middot 3:4) 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES
which shortens should be lifted upon that which lengthens. (Talmud, Middot 3:4) 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES
which shortens should be lifted upon that which lengthens. (Talmud, Middot 3:4) 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES
Cooking Concepts Overcoming Kitchen Lingo! BY NAOMI ROSS Anyone who has ever looked for new
Cooking Concepts Overcoming Kitchen Lingo! BY NAOMI ROSS Anyone who has ever looked for new

Cooking Concepts

Overcoming Kitchen Lingo!




Anyone who has ever looked for new recipes, let alone tried to follow one, is most likely familiar with a common phenomenon. My students call this “turn the page.” Ever look through a cookbook and come across a new and exciting recipe? You think, “Hey, I’d like to try that.” With interest, you start skimming the recipe to see what’s involved. And then BAM! There it is, an ingredient or a cooking term com- pletely foreign to you, staring you right in the face. Like a deer caught in the headlights, you stop dead in your tracks. Your initial enthusiasm fades, you stop reading and…turn the page. Ring a bell? All too often, we let unfamiliar lingo and ingredients stifle our kitchen cre- ativity just because we are scared or intimidated. We think it must be too complicated; it must be a patchke. And so we turn the page. Poached salmon is one of the easiest things to prepare, and yet when I ask my students if they’ve ever attempted to make it, they reply “No! It’s way too fancy—I don’t even know what poaching is!” We get caught up in the lingo and are afraid to try, even though that recipe could be our next great dish.

So how can we overcome this pho-

bia? Be adventurous! Be daring! Don’t turn the page. Try it anyway. Obviously, that is sometimes easier said than done. How can you try a technique with no knowledge of how

to accomplish it? First of all, keep reading; many times, the recipe itself will explain the term in the directions and tell you what to do. And if not, educate yourself! Most cookbooks contain a whole lot more information than just recipes. A good cookbook can be home to glossaries, charts, and explanations of ingredients. All you have to do is look and explore for more information. The Internet is also a great resource for this kind of thing. Your local supermarket grocer is usually happy to guide you to a new exotic ingredient, as well.

I recently taught a wonderful

recipe for pan-seared tilapia with chile-lime butter. I know what you’re thinking. “What? That sounds like something I would order in a restau- rant. I can’t make that at home. I don’t even know what pan-searing is!” Not so! You can make it at home, too. It’s fast, it’s simple, and I will help you troubleshoot your pan-searing woes. My husband has informed me that only I have pan-searing woes.

pan-searing woes. My husband has informed me that only I have pan-searing woes. 50 June 1,

That may be, but here are some

Both use skillets and only a small

kosher salt

pointers to help you get it right.

freshly ground pepper

Pan-searing is a wonderful method


Tbsp. Flour

of cooking that uses high heat to


tsp. canola oil

quickly brown food in a skillet. It seals in flavor by creating its own


crust. Perfectly pan-seared fish is moist and tender on the inside, gold- en brown and delicately crisp on the outside. Pan-searing is not sautéing.

amount of fat; however, pan-searing is over a higher heat and does not involve frequent stirring, as does sautéing. It is best to leave it alone in order to allow a crust to form. Here are some more tips:

Pat the fish dry; season with salt and pepper to taste on both sides of fish. Dust with flour on both sides. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over moderate- ly high heat until just smoking. Cook 3–4 pieces of fish, turning over once with a spatula, until golden and just cooked through, about 5 minutes (2 1 2 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate. Cook remaining fish in remaining 2

• Get your pan hot! Make sure the

pan and oil are hot before you place

the food in the pan. When the oil begins to smoke, it is ready.

• Do not overcrowd fish in the pan.

• Do not move fish until it’s time to turn the fish over.

Do not overcook fish! Nobody likes

overcooked fish—it can be dry, mushy, rubbery, or even fishy flavored. Follow the “10-minute rule” for foolproof fish:

1. Measure the thickest part of the fish. 2. Cook fish for a total of 10 min- utes for each 1 inch of thickness (5 minutes for each 1 2 inch). 3. Always check for doneness a cou- ple of minutes before you think it should be done. For example, a 3 4-inch- thick fillet may take up to 7 1 2 minutes total cooking time. If the first side is golden brown in 3 minutes, check for doneness 2 1 2 minutes after turning the fillet over. The flavored butter in this recipe is perfect in combination with the tilapia. If it’s at room temperature, it will melt upon contact with the fish and create a terrific flavor. Perfect for Shavuos or any night of the week, this recipe is light, delicious, and quick to prepare. Don’t turn the page! Experiment and enjoy!

Pan-Seared Tilapia With Chile-Lime Butter Serves 4–6. Chile-Lime Butter:


1 stick ( 1 2 cup) unsalted butter, soft- ened (but not melted!)


Tbsp. shallots, finely chopped


tsp. freshly grated lime zest


tsp. fresh lime juice


tsp. minced fresh Thai chile or

serrano chile (preferably red but green will work as well), including seeds*

1 tsp. salt

*Be careful when handling chili pep- pers not to touch face or eyes, as they contain oils that can burn the skin. Wash hands with soap afterward (or use gloves when handling them). The heat of chili peppers is contained pri- marily within the seeds. For more spiciness, add more seeds. For a more mild taste, remove some.


Stir together all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.



6–8 pieces (5–6 oz. each) skinless tilapia fillet

teaspoons of oil in the same manner. Serve each piece of fish with a dol- lop of chile-lime butter. Chile-lime butter can be made one

day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring

to room temperature before serving.

Naomi Ross teaches Cooking Concepts, courses on the fundamentals of cooking and Jewish homemaking skills. She can be reached at CookingConcepts@gmail.com.

Rav Salomon To Speak In Lawrence

CookingConcepts@gmail.com . Rav Salomon To Speak In Lawrence HaRav Mattisyahu Salomon, shlita, will be the featured

HaRav Mattisyahu Salomon, shlita, will be the featured speaker at a breakfast reception benefiting Vaad Nidchei Yisroel on Sunday, June 18, at 9:30 a.m. at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Eisenberg in Lawrence. Pictured above, Rabbi Salomon visiting a Vaad Yeshiva in Russia, where thousands of young Russian Jews continue to seek a Torah education.

Russia, where thousands of young Russian Jews continue to seek a Torah education. 5 TOWNS JEWISH
What Is Torah? BY YANKI TAUBER The Torah is a guidebook. Valuable things (lawn mowers,
What Is Torah? BY YANKI TAUBER The Torah is a guidebook. Valuable things (lawn mowers,

What Is Torah?




The Torah is a guidebook. Valuable things (lawn mowers, MP3 players, minivans) come with a book of instruc- tions on how to properly and optimally use them. The same applies to the

details the commitments and duties we assumed toward each other when G-d chose us as His people and we chose Him as our G-d at Sinai. The Torah is identity. What con- nects the black-skinned Ethiopian Jew with the red-bearded chasid in

Torah is the Divine blueprint for creation, the vision that illuminates the foundations of existence, its purpose, and its significance. To study and live Torah is to understand and experience the soul of reality.

valuable (and complicated) thing we call “life”—the Manufacturer enclosed an instruction book. The Torah is a contract. When two people enter into a partnership, bind- ing their financial futures to a joint destiny, they draw up a contract that spells out their respective duties and commitments. When two people marry, a marriage contract, called a kesuvah, is drawn up that does the same. The Torah is our marriage con- tract with G-d, the document that

Moscow? What does the West Coast Jewish filmmaker have in common with his peddler grandfather or his olive-growing ancestor? Nothing. They share no common language, facial features, or diet. Any two Jews can be as culturally or even genetical- ly diverse as any other two members of the human race. But the Shema recited today in a Canadian syna- gogue is the same Shema that was proclaimed in Egypt 3,500 years ago; the criteria for the mikveh built at

was proclaimed in Egypt 3,500 years ago; the criteria for the mikveh built at 52 June

Masada are the same as for the one that opened in Brazil last week. Torah bridges con- tinents and de-gaps genera- tions to serve as our single common expression of our Jewishness. The Torah is vision. Why are we here? Where are we going? “An architect who builds a palace,” cites the Midrash, “has scrolls and notebooks which he consults to know how to place the rooms and where to set the doors. So it was with G-d: He looked into the Torah and created the world.” Torah is the Divine blueprint for cre- ation, the vision that illumi- nates the foundations of exis- tence, its purpose, and its sig- nificance. To study and live Torah is to understand and experience the soul of reality. The Torah is daughter and wife. The sages of the Talmud offer a fascinating parable for our special relationship with G-d and the Torah’s role in that relationship:

There was once a king who had an only daughter, and one of the foreign kings came and married her. When her husband wished to return to his country, her father said to him: “My daughter, whose hand I have given you, is my only child; I cannot part with her. Neither can I say to

And they camped in the desert

(Bamidbar 19:2)

In the ownerless wilderness was the Torah given to the people of Israel. For if it were given in the Land of Israel, the residents of the Land of Israel would say, "It is ours"; and if it were given in some other place, the residents of that place would say, "It is ours." Therefore it was given in the wilderness, so that anyone who wishes to acquire it may acquire it.

(Mechilta D'Rashbi)

you, ‘Do not take her,’ for she is your wife. This one favor, however, I ask of you:

Wherever you go to live, prepare a chamber for me that I may dwell with you, for I cannot leave my daughter.” In the same way, G-d said to Israel: “I have given you the Torah. I cannot part with her, and I also cannot tell you not to take her. But this I request of you:

Wherever you go, make for Me a house wherein I may dwell.”

What can be more powerful than the bond between child and parent? The one is the very extension of the being of the other. To the outsider they may seem as two individuals, but in essence they are one.

Indeed, we are referred to as “children of G-d” (Devarim 14:1) in affirmation of the absoluteness of our bond. There is, however, one ele- ment which the parent–child relationship seems to lack:

the element of choice. The child did not choose to be the parent’s child. Nor did the parent choose this partic- ular individual to be his child; if it were up to him, he might have chosen someone wiser, kinder, prettier, or more talented. One can therefore argue that while the two are connected in essence, they are connected in essence only: the more “external” trappings of per- sonality—intelligence, char- acter, physical attractiveness,

accomplishment; namely, the very things that are often the most “exciting” elements in a relationship—are present in the parent–child relationship by default only, and thus lack the meaningfulness and per- sonal significance that are attached to that which is consciously and willfully chosen. Thus another metaphor comes into play: that of the relationship between a great sage and his brilliant disci- ple. Theirs is a relationship that is predicated on each other’s qualities. The love and devotion of the disciple are motivated by the sage’s greatness; the teacher’s love and devotion are motivated by the disciple’s intelligence

and diligence. The teacher and student have chosen to bond with each other. Yet the master–disciple relationship obviously lacks the essential nature of the parent–child bond. Now picture this: Imagine that you are a great king, and the most precious thing in your life is your only daugh- ter. And now you must choose the man who will become your son-in-law. The Torah is G-d’s daugh- ter. And the Torah is Israel’s bride. In wedding the King’s daughter we unite with her, becoming one with that which is one with Him. It is an essential oneness, yet also a chosen oneness.

(Chabad.org Magazine)

It is an essential oneness, yet also a chosen oneness. (Chabad.org Magazine) ❖ 5 TOWNS JEWISH

Staying Safe





A series of home invasions leaves dozens of local victims frightened. The vicious murder of an 81-year-old Jewish man shocks apartment dwellers in Washington Heights. Attempted abductions of Jewish children in

Brooklyn alarm New Yorkers. A brutal kidnapping of a 20-year-old Jewish girl in Lakewood makes national head- lines. A magazine article alleges decades of abuse by a religious teacher. These come in addition to vio- lent crimes against Jews worldwide. Recent violent crimes in Jewish

against Jews worldwide. Recent violent crimes in Jewish communities require a response. We cannot keep our
against Jews worldwide. Recent violent crimes in Jewish communities require a response. We cannot keep our

communities require a response. We cannot keep our heads in the sand any longer. While the statistics may not seem alarming enough to warrant the purchase of an armored Humvee or lifetime membership in a martial-arts club, many members of our local com- munity could benefit from a height- ened sense of caution. This article will not discuss why bad things happen to good people. The answers to such questions are best left to rabbis, spiritual advisors, and per- haps philosophers. This article will instead concentrate on how bad things happen—and, more importantly, how to lower the chances that you will be a victim. We live in a world filled with many very good people, many people with a combination of good and bad, and a few purely evil people. These evil peo- ple include essentially two-legged predators—similar to the rodef of the Torah—waiting for their chance to harm someone else for their own grat- ification or for no logical reason at all. People who have not a single altruis- tic bone in their body are often classi- fied as psychopaths or sociopaths. A recent chilling book, The Sociopath Next Door, estimates that over one per- cent of the population fits the sociopath pattern. Sociopaths are espe- cially dangerous because they appar- ently lack a conscience, or yetzer tov. While some of these miscreants are easy to spot and avoid, the relatively sophisticated sociopath “cases” his vic- tim methodically until he strikes. In addition to sociopaths, there are

sadists—people who get some sort of thrill out of hurting others. Then, of course, there are the hoodlums, ex- cons, and assorted criminals. Finally, there are those addicted to alcohol and/or drugs, and the purveyors of these substances. Overall, a small but real percentage of people in the world are “bad guys.” I have, unfortunately, encountered dozens of victims of violent crime, rang- ing in age from infants to elderly adults. No one is immune. The effects of life- threatening events should not be underestimated. Even among those who survive seemingly intact, a large number go on to experience post-trau- matic stress disorder, a chronic and psy- chologically crippling condition. Many have altered relationships with friends and family. Some become violent to others. Childhood victims of chronic violence often grow up to become per- petrators of violence themselves, and may also attempt to injure themselves. How can one lower one’s chances of being victimized by a violent crime? There are a few essential steps to avoid being “in the wrong place at the wrong time” or in the vicinity of the “wrong” person. In several public schools, vio- lence prevention is part and parcel of the curriculum. In our relatively sheltered world, many people do not learn the sim- ple steps that can lower their chances of becoming another crime statistic. One can categorize anti-violence guidelines in many ways, including looking at who commits such crimes

Continued on Page 56

in many ways, including looking at who commits such crimes Continued on Page 56 54 June
5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June 1, 2006 55

Staying Safe

Continued from Page 54

and who are likely victims, when such crimes are likely to occur, where crimes often occur, and how someone can react if a violent attack seems imminent. While this article will focus on low- ering one’s chances of being victimized by violent strangers, we need to keep in mind that perpetrators of violence may include acquaintances and even family members. This article will limit its focus to physical violence, keeping in mind that there are other ways that innocent people can be hurt. One important caveat: This article contains general information only, and cannot be relied on as specific advice or for all situations.

Who As former New York City mayor Ed Koch once noted, most violent crimes are committed by a relatively small number of people—hardened crimi-

nals, in many cases—and frequently involve other criminals as victims. A recent New York Times article on who commits murder in New York City and who are the victims emphasized this very same point, as does a new book by David Buss, a psychology professor who specializes in the study of murder and its prevention. So, avoid violent types and you lower your chances of becoming another one of their victims. Think twice about whom you let into your house or to work in your garden. It might be worth it to pay a little more if that means you will be dealing with a more reputable company, such as one that does background checks on its prospective employees instead of pick- ing up its “employees” off the street. During the recent installation of a bookcase in his home, bought at a local store, someone I know chatted with the men and discovered that indeed one of the workers was picked up off the street to help with the installation. Needless to say, this per- son was carefully watched, and his

access to the house was limited, by this savvy homeowner. If you encounter someone who acts like he is on “The Sopranos,” it might be wise to give this person some lee- way rather than some lip. Actually, sev- eral of the actors in this TV show have reportedly been associated with violent crimes, including the alleged murder of a police officer. In this case, life seems to mimic art. If someone looks the part or acts the part, be on guard. Bad guys also look for “easy marks.” In addition to noticing people who flash their money, jewelry, and expen- sive items, they may focus on a person who is so caught up in his or her cell- phone conversation that the person is not paying attention to what is other- wise going on. I have seen people answer and then talk mindlessly on their cell phones, while davening in shul and wearing tefillin, and have witnessed numerous near-accidents due to cell-phone use. I imagine that there are probably people out there who are so caught up in their cell-phone conversations that, were

so caught up in their cell-phone conversations that, were they to get mugged, they might hesi-

they to get mugged, they might hesi- tate to end their conversation, prefer- ring instead to hand over their purse or wallet while chatting away. Use your cell phone when appropriate, but be alert to who might be in your vicinity. Many community members are car- ing and trusting individuals—be they children, teens, or adults. While it is great that so many community mem- bers jump at the chance to help others, in some cases this enthusiasm, coupled with naiveté, can spell danger. Look before you leap to do a good deed. Some community members may wish to give their credit-card numbers and other identifying information to strangers offering to “scalp” baseball tickets on the FTS list—especially if they use a Jewish-sounding name, which to some makes these strangers seem hon- est. However, if you reveal your home address or other identifying information, or if you open your door to strangers—or even more so, leave it unlocked—you increase the chances of being victimized by a violent criminal. Some crimes are simply crimes of opportunity. Limit the opportunity, and you limit the chances of being victimized. Don’t be fooled by the garb worn by bad guys. In religious communities, good guys wear black—but so can bad guys. It is not hard for an intelligent bad guy to buy some black clothing and a black hat to “fit in.” Judge peo- ple by the context and their behavior; do not judge people by their clothing alone. Several infamous serial killers reportedly dressed very well, lulling their potential victims into a false sense of security. Unfortunately, as pointed out by David Mandel of Ohel in a talk he gave in the community a few years ago fol- lowing a horrendous attack on a girl walking to a local school, molestation of children often is perpetrated by peo- ple who know the child and not by total strangers. While many of us may welcome a single fellow who volunteers to run the Shabbos program for boys, or to coach little league week after week, too few of us wonder why that same person insists on no adults being present, and very few of us take even a moment to con- sider what reason would someone like this have to want to be around children without getting paid. Many of us are thrilled when our sons or daughters go to a gym class, but how many of us even know the background of the instructor—besides the little that he or his employer chooses to tell us? It is a bitter truth that deviant people take jobs and volunteer for positions that give them access to children and teens. Our schools, our JCCs, our rabbis, our principals, and we parents are all “too busy” and too trusting to do even mini- mal background checks, let alone to have a sense of caution. No wonder that the average deviant will assault hun- dreds of children before he is caught, and even then often gets off scot-free— to go on to another school or shul or Jewish center and find more victims. The special topic of domestic vio- lence and domestic discord is beyond the scope of this article. For detailed information, contact the Shalom Task

Continued on Page 58

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Force. Special cases such as bullying in school—a problem which plagues so many students in yeshivas and semi- naries—will also not be discussed.

When In general, nighttime and early morning hours are often times when violent crimes by strangers are com- mitted. I say “often,” because there are important exceptions, such as break- ins—including home invasions— which may very well occur in the mid- dle of the afternoon, as happened to a doctor friend of mine. In many areas, most homicides, car accidents, and acts of violence occur late at night or in the early morning hours, between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. When I was in training to be a physi- cian, we used to joke that late nights on weekends were the hours when the “Knife and Gun Club” would meet, as victims of violence would be brought in, one after another, to the hospital trauma center. To lower your chances of becoming a crime statistic, don’t make unnecessary trips outside during these late hours. Indeed, Pirkei Avos warns the person who goes out at night on a “solitary path.” I realize that some people get antsy late at night and really want to go for a drive, but if at all possible, mini- mize your late-night excursions. I realize that this warning will do lit- tle to dissuade teens from heading out after 11 p.m., but nevertheless some

extra degree of caution is advisable. After all, criminal types are often sleeping during the day and just start- ing out at night. A recent book on gangsters describes their “schedule,” which apparently includes sleeping until noon or 2 p.m. (while the rest of us are at work, in yeshiva, etc.). Then, these bad guys slowly wake up, get ready to go out, and eventually head out for their “business activities” late at night, staying up until 5 to 6 a.m., and then finally heading home. (According to this book, some gang-

ly. Keep your phone charged up and, better yet, have a car charger. If you can avoid going to an ATM in the middle of the night, or running into the 24/7 shop at the gas station, or going to get a newspaper at 1 a.m., you may have a bit less cash overnight, a bit less caffeine in your veins, or a bit less knowledge of how the Yankees fared, but you probably have a bit more sense than some of your carefree neighbors, who may, G-d forbid, one night run into the wrong person in one of these locales.

Pre-program your cell phone to dial 911 with a single push of the button, and keep your phone nearby. Some cell phones have global position systems (GPS) which enable the 911 operator to locate you very quickly.

sters take time off on Sundays to be with their nuclear families.) If you must go out at a high-risk time, it is probably a good idea to take an adult with you, and/or a cell phone. Pre-program your cell phone to dial 911 with a single push of the button, and keep your phone nearby. Some cell phones have global posi- tion systems (GPS) which enable the 911 operator to locate you very quick-

Where Most crimes occur in certain areas, in geographic clusters. This, too, was emphasized in that recent New York Times report. Avoid these high-crime areas, and you should lower your chances of becoming a victim. If the downtown area in your town is a hang- out and crimes occur there, think twice before traveling alone into or through that area.

You can sometimes find out where high-crime areas exist in your area and surrounding areas by reading local crime reports in the newspaper, such as The Wave or the Nassau Herald, or even

by politely asking a police officer. When

I travel, I usually ask the person at the

hotel’s front desk as well as any police- man I encounter which areas of town are safe and which should be avoided. On one occasion nearly two decades ago, on the night before a medical res-

idency training interview, an acquain- tance and I started walking toward a famous beach area in Los Angeles, thinking we would enjoy a stroll on the boardwalk. A police car with two of LAPD’s finest passed us; then it made

a sharp U-turn, and one of the officers

got out. He asked us who we were and where we were heading. After we answered, the officer emphatically said we would be crazy to walk on that boardwalk at night. (Apparently, it was the “territory” of some ethnic gang.) Surprised but thankful, we turned around and headed back to our lodg- ings—and lived to tell about it! Crimes tend to occur in the vicinity

of liquor and drugs. Ergo, if you go to

a club or bar where there are tough-

looking people drinking hard liquor or going to the bathroom to use drugs, don’t be surprised if your evening turns out much tougher than you had planned. Even an innocent gathering of friends can quickly turn violent if alcohol or drugs are introduced. The Talmud tells the cautionary tale of the

Continued on Page 63

are introduced. The Talmud tells the cautionary tale of the Continued on Page 63 58 June
are introduced. The Talmud tells the cautionary tale of the Continued on Page 63 58 June
5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June 1, 2006 59
5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June 1, 2006 59
5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June 1, 2006 59


June 1, 2006


Pint-Size YKLI Sefirah Poster Contest Winners

Pint-Size YKLI Sefirah Poster Contest Winners Proud winners of the Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island Sefirah

Proud winners of the Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island Sefirah Midos Poster Contest (L-R): Sruli Vegh, Shlomo Zalman Grumet, Daniel Klein, Aryeh Berger, Avi Gelfand, Ezriel Spinner, Eli Farkas, Shlomo Klahr, and Moshe Shalom Pfeiffer.

Eli Farkas, Shlomo Klahr, and Moshe Shalom Pfeiffer. 60 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES

60 June 1, 2006


HAFTR Yom Yerushalayim

June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES HAFTR Yom Yerushalayim HAFTR nursery students “rebuilt the Kotel”

HAFTR nursery students “rebuilt the Kotel” in honor of Yom Yerushalayim. Amidst singing and dancing, each child carefully crafted two “stones” and assembled the wall.

Deadline for Advertising in the Next Issue is Monday, June 5 at 5:00 P.M. Call


HALB Yom Yerushalayim

HALB Yom Yerushalayim Grandparents of the kindergarten children of HALB Lev Chana were invited to participate
HALB Yom Yerushalayim Grandparents of the kindergarten children of HALB Lev Chana were invited to participate
HALB Yom Yerushalayim Grandparents of the kindergarten children of HALB Lev Chana were invited to participate

Grandparents of the kindergarten children of HALB Lev Chana were invited to participate in hands-on workshops with their grandchildren to celebrate Yom Yerushalayim. At left, Allysa Silvera and her grand- mother, Mrs. Linda Mitgang, string a blue-and-white necklace. Center: Amiel Kerstein, his grandmother, Mrs. Phyllis Kerstein, and great-grandmother, Mrs. Perla Topiel, design a picture frame. Above, right:

Chana Sigman and her grandmothers, Mrs. Fanny Malek and Mrs. Bonnie Sigman, make Israeli salad.



Mrs. Bonnie Sigman, make Israeli salad. Scholarship Finalist Michael Kessler has been named by The National

Michael Kessler has been named by The National Merit Scholarship Program as a Finalist.

HAFTR Student In Government

Program as a Finalist. HAFTR Student In Government HAFTR student Sam Yusopov was invited to participate

HAFTR student Sam Yusopov was invited to participate in the ninth annual Town of Hempstead “Students in Government Day” on May 17. Students spent the day learning about local government, meeting with Supervisor Kate Murray, and touring Town Hall, Norman J. Levy Park, and the Conservation and Waterways Department.

Town Hall, Norman J. Levy Park, and the Conservation and Waterways Department. 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES


June 1, 2006


62 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES

62 June 1, 2006


Staying Safe

Continued from Page 58

violence that ensued when two sages started imbibing alcohol on Purim. When you are out and about, always be aware of your surroundings. Does a car or its occupants seem out of place? Are people hanging around the street? Is someone trying to get the attention of passersby? Are things too quiet? Develop a sense of “radar.” It’s not as hard as it sounds. When on the move, make sure to park your vehicle in a well-lit spot, preferably where other people come and go fre- quently—such as near the entrance to a mall or the elevators in a parking garage—and, if possible, back your vehi- cle into its parking spot so when you exit you can do so quickly. Try not to park next to a van or another large vehicle which can block the view of passersby. Always lock your vehicle, even if you plan on being away just for a minute. When walking to your car, keep your keys in your hand, ready to open your vehicle immediately. Scan the surround- ings, and glance in the back seat. Be especially careful in high-risk locations such as near your car, house, or bank. These are often areas where bad guys will strike. Why? Like Willie Sutton, bad guys go where the money is. When walking in certain areas, it is probably best to walk on the side of the block facing oncoming traffic. This way, you can see all cars as they drive toward you, and someone up to no good may have to stop his car and start backing up to get close to you. Develop a sense of personal space. Anyone who enters within several feet of you deserves your heightened attention. If a stranger is walking toward you, even if the person is talking in a calm manner, or smiling, be at least somewhat on guard. You can sometimes stop an aggressive person with a stern voice com- manding them to “Stop!” or “Get lost!” Never get close to a vehicle that seems occupied. Under no circum- stances should you willfully get into a stranger’s car, regardless of what the person claims or threatens. Women and teens should think twice about getting into an acquaintance’s car, as well. There has been at least one recent case of an attack on a Jewish child who entered a stranger’s vehicle to “give directions.”

Dr. Zacharowicz has studied and taught self- defense and personal safety classes for years. He recently earned his brown belt with Tora Dojo, a martial-arts system founded by Professor Haim Sober of Yeshiva University in 1967. For comments or queries, or for information about the upcoming June 11 martial-arts and self- defense exhibition in the Five Towns, contact VNishmartem@aol.com.

and self- defense exhibition in the Five Towns, contact VNishmartem@aol.com . 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June
and self- defense exhibition in the Five Towns, contact VNishmartem@aol.com . 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June
and self- defense exhibition in the Five Towns, contact VNishmartem@aol.com . 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES June
Ending Gaza’s ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ BY DAVID SINGER There seems to be a general interna- tional
Ending Gaza’s ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ BY DAVID SINGER There seems to be a general interna- tional

Ending Gaza’s ‘Humanitarian Crisis’




There seems to be a general interna-

tional consensus that Gaza is gripped by

a growing humanitarian crisis that

requires the injection of large amounts

of international financial aid to prevent

a human catastrophe of massive propor- tions. The international community sees itself as trapped between a rock and a

hard place. It wants to grant such finan-


aid, but does not want to be seen to


supporting the recently elected

Hamas government, since Hamas is list-

ed as a terrorist organization in most of

those countries whose financial assis- tance is now being urgently sought. Israel is under international pres-

sure to remit tax monies of $50 million

per month it has been collecting for

the Gazans. Israel objects to paying

this money to a government whose pol-


openly and uncompromisingly calls


the destruction of Israel. Israel is

struggling to devise a means to get that

tax revenue to the civilian population,

even though it was that population that elected Hamas to power, thereby causing the current crisis. Many question whether there is

indeed a humanitarian crisis or even the threat of such a crisis in Gaza. An inves- tigative journalist, Arlene Kushner, claims that roughly USD 10 billion in

aid has been provided to the Palestinian

Authority in Gaza since 1993. Billions

of dollars in buildings, businesses and

agricultural enterprises and infrastruc-

ture were acquired for nothing following

Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza last year.

Much of this has been trashed in an orgy of looting and mindless destruc- tion. Muhammad Dahlan, former Palestinian Minister of State for Security, told London’s Guardian news- paper in August 2004 that a total of USD 5 billion in international dona-

tions “have gone down the drain and we don’t know to where.” Others compare the situation in Gaza

to the Darfur region in southern Sudan,

where emaciated children are dying from lack of medical treatment, women

trek 50 kilometers to bring back food

and water for their children and villages

have been totally burned to the ground with the village men being taken away and slaughtered. Commentators point

to AIDS, drought and corrupt govern-

ments that have created a series of humanitarian crises in southern Africa

that are far more serious than in Gaza. Nightly, on our television screens, we see pictures of angry Gazans demonstrating at funerals of assassi- nated terrorists or even fighting between themselves. They all seem well fed, well clothed and well armed, hardly what one would expect to see in

a humanitarian crisis situation.

Perhaps one of the more bizarre sights

last week was the Hamas civil militia

sporting new guns and new uniforms strutting the streets of Gaza City in open defiance of the recognized secu-

rity forces. Where the money came from to equip and outfit this smartly turned out militia is unknown. There is a huge arsenal of weapons stored in Gaza, much of it allegedly pur- chased with funds provided by the inter- national community for the specific purpose of improving the lives of the civilian population. Offering to buy back that arsenal from the armed militia organizations presently operating under a plethora of names and openly flouting the authority of the government, pres- ents an opportunity to bring this “humanitarian crisis” to an end in Gaza. It could also help to ease the ten- sions between Israel and Gaza and restore some authority to the govern- ment in Gaza. Perhaps, it could even provide the impetus for a return to the Road Map sponsored by America, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. Australia introduced a gun buy-back program 10 years ago after a massacre in Tasmania led to public outrage and a demand for action to prevent it hap- pening again. At the end of the buy- back, on 31 August 1998, Australia had paid AUS $320 million for 643,726 firearms. True, the Australian buy-back was not the success that was envi- sioned and Australia has once again seen a proliferation of guns in the com- munity since the buy-back was com- pleted. However, conditioning financial aid on the surrender of weapons would send a clear message to the Gazans that they had a choice—to continue on their present descent into anarchy and self destruction, or to go down a differ-

ent path, forsaking armed confronta- tion in favour of building a better life for themselves. The ground rules for surrender of weapons could be drafted so as to pre- vent the disclosure of the identity of the organizations co-operating in the buy- back. The monies paid would be given to the organizations for distribution among their members and supporters. The government would have no interest or claim on these monies since it had no ownership in the weapons being sur- rendered. The contributing countries would be given access to monitor the implementation of the program to ensure the money was being distributed to the civilian population. And finally, the weapons themselves would be pub- licly dismantled and destroyed—never to be used again. The Gazan economy would be reju- venated by the infusion of these monies into the system. A growing market for goods and services, and greater employment opportunities, would be created. This would, in turn, create revenue for the government in the form of increased taxes, which could be used to provide or improve essential services such as roads, hous- ing, hospitals and schools. If this offer is refused, the interna- tional community should spend its aid money elsewhere, on the myriad num- ber of humanitarian crises occurring in other parts of the world. If the Gazans turn down this offer, then let them eat bullets, for they would have brought this “humanitari- an crisis” on themselves. (Arutz Sheva)

an crisis” on themselves. ( A r u t z S h e v a )
an crisis” on themselves. ( A r u t z S h e v a )
Torah Scrolls Make Trek Up Mountain, Completing Masada Shul’s Restoration BY SUE FISHKOFF Most tourists

Torah Scrolls Make Trek Up Mountain, Completing Masada Shul’s Restoration




Most tourists who make the pilgrim- age to Masada have seen the ruins of the 2,000-year-old stone synagogue built by the Jewish Zealots who hid there from the Romans for four years before com- mitting mass suicide in 73 C.E. It was a sad little building, without a roof, its crumbled walls but a few feet high. One had to imagine where the worshippers stood to pray. What rituals did they observe? What, if any, reli- gious items did they have? Last year, the little synagogue was restored. It now boasts a roof, door and small bookshelf. But the focal point is along the eastern wall: an ark covered by a dark blue velvet curtain, which, for the first time in two millennia, houses two complete Torah scrolls. “After 2,000 years, we brought back the Torah to Masada,” says Eitan Campbell, director of the Masada National Park and a key figure in the restoration project. The impetus came three years ago from Yehuda Meshi Zahav, founder and chairman of Israel’s ZAKA non- governmental rescue and recovery team. He had brought a team of ZAKA volunteers to Masada for a sound and light show, and noticed there was no Torah there. When people held a reli- gious ceremony atop the mountain, they had to bring their own scroll.

On Shavuot eve, 2004, a ZAKA group brought a donated Torah scroll to Masada, carried it up the mountain, and opened it at the top in a festive ceremony before handing it into Campbell’s safekeeping. After that night, Campbell kept the scroll securely locked in his vault at the

“But the importance of returning a Torah to the exact same place where Eliezer Ben Yair might have hidden his Torah scroll that night, that he could understand.”

visitors’ center at the base of the moun- tain. When visitors asked to use it, he would let them take it up the moun- tain, but he “didn’t feel good about it,” he says. The Torah didn’t belong in a vault, it belonged on the mountain. “We realized it belonged in the

belong in a vault, it belonged on the mountain. “We realized it belonged in the 66

geniza,” he says, the small room behind the ruined synagogue where the Zealots buried their holy books. That was where Yigal Yadin’s excava- tion team found Bible fragments in 1963, including the famed “dry bones” passages from Yechezkel. “There were some obstacles,” Campbell admits. One can’t keep a Torah scroll in a ruin—it requires a roof, floor and secure ark. And the chief archeologist was “not too enthu- siastic” at the idea of interfering with the structure, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “But the importance of returning a Torah to the exact same place where Eliezer Ben Yair might have hidden his Torah scroll that night, that he could understand,” Campbell says, referring to the Zealot who led Masada’s defense. South Florida philanthropist Warren Struhl provided the funding for the syn- agogue’s restoration. Struhl and three colleagues forked over the $80,000 Campbell needed for the job, and donated a second Torah scroll as well. On September 26 at 3 a.m., more than 600 men, women and children, fervently Orthodox to secular, began to dance and sing their way up the south- ern slope of the mountain, carrying both Torah scrolls to their new home inside the restored synagogue. The goings-on were streamed live over the iIternet. “It was a morning that anyone who was there will never forget,” Campbell says. Israeli music legend David Broza, who has held more than 20 concerts at

Masada since 1993, flew in from the Canary Islands for the event. At sunrise, he played a few songs—not religious songs, he said, but the soulful, spiritual- ly infused music for which he is known. Last week, he was back at Masada, showing it to his daughter and her boyfriend. He and Campbell, who both feel a strong attachment to the site, sometimes sleep on the mountain. But whereas Campbell is entranced by the tragic history of the Jewish Zealots, Broza says it’s the power of nature that draws him back. “There’s massive energy, the change of light from 3 a.m. to sunrise” he told JTA, reflecting on why he returns again and again to hold concerts there. “You let yourself get carried away, you don’t really have control over your emotions. And if the show is good, the music takes you even further.” Both Torah scrolls are now housed permanently on the mountain. They are used for morning prayers every Monday and Thursday, Campbell says. “Word has gotten out that the scrolls are here,” he says. “We’ve closed the 2,000-year circle. If those last defend- ers would know there’s still a Jewish presence on Masada, it would mean a lot to them.” (JTA)

Sue Fishkoff, a special correspondent based in Northern California, covers American Jewish issues, with a special focus on Jewish identity and affiliation. She also serves as a contributing editor, responsible for coordinating JTA’s cover- age of the former Soviet Union. She is a former staff writer for the Jerusalem Post, has written extensively for a variety of national Jewish publi- cations and is the author of “The Rebbe’s Army:

Inside the World of Chabad-Lubavitch,” pub- lished by Schocken Books.

Army: Inside the World of Chabad-Lubavitch ,” pub- lished by Schocken Books. 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES
Army: Inside the World of Chabad-Lubavitch ,” pub- lished by Schocken Books. 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES
The Alternative To The Dreaded ‘Singles Shabbaton’ BY MICHAEL FELDSTEIN Ask a group of typical
The Alternative To The Dreaded ‘Singles Shabbaton’ BY MICHAEL FELDSTEIN Ask a group of typical

The Alternative To The Dreaded ‘Singles Shabbaton’




Ask a group of typical Jewish singles whether or not they like attending “singles Shabbatons,” and chances are that the vast majority will say that they hate the experience. Yet singles Shabbatons continue to be one of the more popular venues for Jewish singles to meet others. Why do singles continue to flock to such weekends even though they pro- fess to hate them? Part of the reason is that many singles really believe that their future spouse might be at a particular weekend—and that by not attending a Shabbaton they are going to miss out on their golden opportu- nity. Advertisements for these week- ends loudly claim “Meet your bash- ert!”—and singles are more than will- ing to plunk down up to $300 a per- son in hopes of cashing in on the claim. Another reason is the numbers game. Singles believe that if there are lots of other singles in attendance, it means that there is a better chance of finding their soul mate there. Singles tend to gravitate to the Shabbatons with the largest number of people, thinking that this will improve their odds of finding a match. Logically that may seem correct. However, what’s the real success rate?

Virtually everyone who attends these Shabbatons leaves generally disap- pointed. Fortunately for the organiz- ers, there always seems to be a new group of singles interested in attending the next Shabbaton. Is there a better way to run a sin- gles Shabbaton that participants will enjoy more? Indeed there is. This past year, I’ve personally helped organize nine Shabbatons for singles through an organization called End The Madness (www.endthemadness.org). And each one has been an unqualified success, according to the feedback provided by participants and the num- ber of singles who have attended more than one Shabbaton. What made these Shabbatons differ- ent than the typical singles Shabbaton? First, the Shabbaton is held in a Jewish community that has an active synagogue (not in some hotel in the Catskills), and activities and meals are integrated with the rest of the community. Past Shabbatons have been held in Lawrence, Teaneck, Passaic, West Hempstead, Stamford, Elizabeth, and Monsey. Singles are divided into groups of six (three men and three women) for Shabbos meals, which they eat at the homes of the various hosts. This makes for a much more natural and comfortable—and less pressurized—environment for

for a much more natural and comfortable—and less pressurized—environment for 68 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS

singles to meet and mingle. Singles also daven with the rest of the mem- bers of the community, and partici- pate in the rabbi’s class on Shabbos and the shalosh seudos meal. Second, the Shabbaton is intention- ally limited. Only 48 singles can attend, and applicants are carefully screened to make sure they are the kind of people with which other participants and members of the community will enjoy spending a Shabbos. Every one of the Shabbatons that were planned has been sold out—and there is always a waiting list for singles to attend.

times recommend others that they know as possible dates to those who attended the Shabbaton. In addition, community members enjoy hosting meals because it allows them to do something tangible for the singles community. The nice thing about this model is that it doesn’t take a lot of work to plan a Shabbaton. It can also be accomplished by singles informally, without an official organization. You’ll need to find a point person in a specific community to arrange hous- ing and meals, and you’ll need a cou-

Because of the hospitality of community members in providing meals to singles at their own tables, the Shabbaton is usually priced at $25 per person, which includes a Saturday night activity, as well.

Third, the Shabbaton does not cost an arm and a leg. Because of the hos- pitality of community members in pro- viding meals to singles at their own tables, the Shabbaton is usually priced at $25 per person, which includes a Saturday night activity, as well. Finally, by interacting with mem- bers of the community, singles increase their own networking opportunities. After meeting singles over Shabbos, many hosts stay in touch with their guests—and some-

ple of organizers on the singles side to screen applicants, take reserva- tions, assign participants to homes for meals and sleeping, and plan the program. There is a better way to run a Shabbaton for singles, and this con- cept really works. Why not plan one in your community this coming year?!

Michael Feldstein serves on the Singles Task Force of the Orthodox Caucus, and volunteers for End The Madness. He can be reached at


and volunteers for End The Madness. He can be reached at mike38ct@aol.com . 5 TOWNS JEWISH
and volunteers for End The Madness. He can be reached at mike38ct@aol.com . 5 TOWNS JEWISH
and volunteers for End The Madness. He can be reached at mike38ct@aol.com . 5 TOWNS JEWISH
70 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES
70 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES
70 June 1, 2006 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES

My Aunt Evelyn





They say that as we grow older, we “become” our par- ents, like when our daughter leaves the house in the evening and we say, “Take a sweater!” Or the shock we get when we hear ourselves reminding our teenager that the barbecue with his friends should end at an hour that will actually enable him to go to school in the morning. But I think I’m becoming my Aunt Evelyn. My “Auntie Evie,” one of my mom’s four sisters, worked into her eight- ies. But when she wasn’t in the office, she was doing good deeds. She never walked into our house (or anyone else’s) without opening her bottom- less purse and pulling out gum, chocolate, Kennedy half-dollars, or the latest arti- cle by one of her award-win- ning journalist daughters. My Aunt Evelyn had a wealth of information about the com- munity and the extended fam- ily (not to be confused with gossip, which I never heard from her), but more than that, she was a one-woman chesed committee. If one of her rela- tives or friends (or the mother of a friend, or the second cousin of a friend) needed a prescription filled, letters mailed, film developed, or a piece of clothing exchanged at the mall, Aunt Evelyn was your woman. But by far her most fre- quent mitzvah was giving peo- ple rides. I thought of Aunt Evelyn recently, as I was on my way home to Efrat, in Gush Etzion (the Etzion Bloc). Most people stop to pick up hitchhikers at the Gilo Junction, the last stop in Jerusalem before one gets onto the highway to Gush Etzion. Our Gush Etzion bus used to make stops in Jerusalem, but they were recently eliminated, so even adults have begun to do what was previously a mostly teenage habit—they take a bus to Gilo Junction and hitchhike home from there. It is a major headache, especial- ly after shopping or a long day at work. When I stopped at a red light in town, I noticed a few women standing at a local bus stop that I knew leads to Gilo. People don’t usually give rides to folks in the city, for securi- ty reasons, but their head- scarves and long dresses indi- cated that they might be from our neck of the woods. I rolled down my window and asked

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our neck of the woods. I rolled down my window and asked Continued on Page 72
our neck of the woods. I rolled down my window and asked Continued on Page 72
our neck of the woods. I rolled down my window and asked Continued on Page 72
My Aunt Evelyn Continued from Page 71 them where they had to go. “Gilo Junction,”
My Aunt Evelyn Continued from Page 71 them where they had to go. “Gilo Junction,”

My Aunt Evelyn

Continued from Page 71

them where they had to go. “Gilo Junction,” they answered. Nobody

lives at Gilo Junction; it’s only a hitch- hiker’s stop. “No, where do you really have to go?” “Carmei Tzur and Kiryat Arba,” they replied. “Wait, I’ll pull over,” I said. They piled in with their packages, offering enough blessings on my head to last a lifetime, when I told them, “I’ll take you all the way to the Gush Etzion junction,” which was beyond where I had to go, but was another major stop that would mean a shorter ride to their homes, and it was easy to get a ride from there. They were over- come with gratitude. Their children were waiting at home, their packages were heavy, it’s so hard to get a ride at Gilo… I felt a warm glow. We paused again at the Gilo junc- tion to pick up a neighbor of mine, an adult who doesn’t own a car. He was so exhausted, he could barely talk. “I hope you don’t mind that we’re taking

a detour by the Gush junction before

we go back to Efrat,” I said. “Are you

kidding?” he said, as he sank happily back into the seat. In the course of the ride, I played Jewish geography with the women, leading to the discovery that one of them knew a daughter of mine, and the other had a daughter who wanted

to audition for one of our local theater

groups. I continued up the highway, passing Efrat on my left, drove on to the Gush junction, and let them off to the sound of more blessings. I turned around and drove home. My neighbor was getting ready to get out at the crossroads closest to his house, but I said, “I’ve brought you this far, I’ll take you all the way.” I was on a roll; I called my married daughter who lives in a different part of Efrat. Her husband was away for the night for work, and I knew she’d probably

And there Israel camped opposite the mountain

(Bamidbar 19:2)

At all their other encampments, the verse says vayachanu (“and they camped,” in the plural); here it says vayichan (“and he camped,” in the singular). For all other encampments were in argument and dissent, whereas here they camped as one man, with one heart.

(Mechilta; Rashi)

walk over to spend the night at our house. “I’m already in the car,” I told her; “I’ll pick you up.” And then the cap. Leaving our little local shopping cen- ter, I saw two women I know from the senior’s club, where

I teach creative writing. They were schlepping bags and walking slowly. “Ride home?”

I offered. They got into the

car with effusive thanks. They only live around the corner; I didn’t think a ride would be a big deal. I was wrong. One of them said, “He who saves one life, has saved the world,” and when she got out, told me, “I try to be as independent as possi- ble, but that walk, with pack- ages, is a hard one.” “Just call me if you need a ride next time,” I told her. “If I’m home, I’ll be happy to pop you over there.” It was when she got out of the car that it struck me. “That’s it,” I thought, “first I turn into my mom, by telling my daughters to take sweaters, and now I’m becom- ing my Aunt Evelyn.” When Aunt Evelyn died, the funeral home had to move the cere- mony from the smaller chapel to the larger one, usually used for (G-d forbid) younger deaths, or people who were extremely important and well- known in the community. I live in Israel and couldn’t be there, but my parents told me that the crowds kept coming and coming. Like the human parade at the end of the film Pay It Forward, no one imag- ined how many lives Aunt Evelyn had touched until they saw the hundreds gathered at her funeral. Anyone who has buried a loved one knows how it feels to look at that casket and think, “All that we take into the next world are the good deeds we have left behind.” Aunt Evelyn’s daughters even- tually moved from journalism to more active public service. Babs volunteered for various presidential candidates, got a law degree, and eventually worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Dolly got a Ph.D. in public health and is seeking a cure for tuberculosis at the CDC. And me? I hope that, some day (we should all live till 120), when the friends and family I leave behind gather round, in addi- tion to whatever else they’ll have to say, they’ll be able to say, “She gave people rides.” You never know what will make someone’s day. And I learned that from my Aunt Evelyn.

Toby Klein Greenwald, when not giving rides to people, is a journalist (like her cousins), a theater director, and the editor of WholeFamily.com.

(like her cousins), a theater director, and the editor of WholeFamily.com . 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES
(like her cousins), a theater director, and the editor of WholeFamily.com . 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES
(like her cousins), a theater director, and the editor of WholeFamily.com . 5 TOWNS JEWISH TIMES