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New Jersey Jewish Standard - April 12, 2013 issue

New Jersey Jewish Standard - April 12, 2013 issue

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JSTANDARD.COM

LESSONS OF A BROKEN NECK page 6

CHANT ENCOUNTERS page 12

65 YEARS OF INNOVATION page 30

APRIL 12, 2013
VOL. LXXXII NO. 30 $1.00

2013

82

Local rabbis
remember

Rabbi
Soloveitchik

Reflections
on the Rav

V

O

T

E
!

R

E

A

D

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R

S
’ C

H

O

IC

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P
A
G
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3
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2 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

JS-2

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Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 3

PUBLisher’s stateMent: (UsPs 275-700 isn 0021-6747)
is published weekly on Fridays with an additional edition
every October, by the new Jersey Jewish Media Group, 1086
teaneck road, teaneck, nJ 07666. Periodicals postage paid
at hackensack, nJ and additional offices. POstMaster:
send address changes to new Jersey Jewish Media Group,
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Foreign countries subscriptions are $75.00.

the appearance of an advertisement in the Jewish standard
does not constitute a kashrut endorsement. the publishing
of a paid political advertisement does not constitute an
endorsement of any candidate political party or political
position by the newspaper, the Federation or any employees.

the Jewish standard assumes no responsibility to return
unsolicited editorial or graphic materials. all rights in letters
and unsolicited editorial, and graphic material will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright
purposes and subject to Jewish standard’s unrestricted
right to edit and to comment editorially. nothing may be
reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from
the publisher. © 2013

Noshes

5

oPINIoN

16

cover story

18

torAh coMMeNtAry

37

crossword Puzzle

38

Arts & culture

39

lIFecycle

44

clAssIFIeds

46

hoMe desIgN

48

reAl estAte

50

+ CONTENTS

Candlelighting: Fri., April 12, 7:14 p.m.
Shabbat ends: Sat., April 13, 8:15 p.m.

For convenient home delivery,
call 201-837-8818 or bit.ly/jsubscribe

FYI

Teachers without agenda

it started in the world of
technology confer-

ences.

it’s the unconference:
no big-name key-
note speaker, no high
profile lecturers, no
schedule.
instead, people
with an interest in a topic
show up at an event –
and break off into ad hoc
discussion groups.
the idea spread from
tech conferences to edu-
cation.

and now, Jed-
CampnYnJ, the area’s
first unconference for
educators at Jewish
schools, is being held
at Yavneh academy in
Paramus next sunday, april
21, from 9 to 3 p.m.
the conference is free.
“i find most conference keynotes to
be so general, clichéd, and self-con-
gratulatory that they are rarely use-
ful,” rabbi tzvi Pittinsky of the Frisch
school in Paramus said. he is among
the unconference’s organizers.
“why do i love conferences? Mostly
because of the people i meet,” he
continued.

“session topics will be suggested

by the attendees on the day of the
conference,” explains the FaQ on
the program, “and you will
have the freedom to choose
whatever session strikes your
fancy. and if you do not see
anything right away that inter-
ests you – YOU can put a topic
on the board.”
Planners for the conference
also include faculty and ad-
ministration from the torah
academy of Bergen County in
teaneck, Magen david Yeshiva
high school in Brooklyn, and
solomon schechter school of
westchester.
while the conference is open
to both day school and supple-
mentary school educators,
Pittinsky said, “the timing of
the conference on a sunday
means it is a more likely fit for
day school educators since syna-
gogue directors tend to be teaching
then.”

he emphasizes that the confer-
ence “is open for educators at Jewish
schools, not just Jewish educators.
we welcome the participation of our
non-Jewish educational professionals
in our schools as well.”
For more information and to regis-
ter, go to http://edcamp.wikispaces.
com/jedcamp+nJnY

LarrY YudeLson

PACing whiskers

Could a newly launched
political action commit-
tee have helped the failed
congressional race of
rabbi shmuley Boteach?
a new Political action
Committee launched last
week: Bearded entrepre-
neurs for the advance-
ment of a responsible de-
mocracy, or Beard PaC.
“with the resurgence of
beards in popular culture and among
today’s younger generation, we be-
lieve the time is now to bring facial
hair back into politics,” Beard PaC’s
founder, Jonathan sessions, said. he
added: “we haven’t had a bearded
major party candidate run for presi-
dent since Charles evans hughes ran
and lost in 1916, and there has been a
recent wave of retirements amongst
bearded Congressmen, including da-
vid Obey and steve Latourette. Our
hope is that we can start to reverse
this disturbing trend.”
“it’s been 125 years since our last
bearded president, Benjamin har-
rison, was elected,” Beard PaC’s
communications director, andy
shapero, said. “we’re hoping that
with our support, bearded individu-
als will shrug off over a century of
political irrelevance and start running
for office again.”

in englewood, Boteach
takes credit for the idea,
pointing to his campaign
video which urged “vote
for the man with the
beard.”

in an interview, he sug-
gested that the reason
he lost his race against
incumbent Bill Pascrell Jr.
night have been “because
the shaven masses have a
clear prejudice against people with
beards.”

But taking the launching of
Beard PaC as a sign that the tide
may be turning, Boteach warned: “if
Bill Pascrell wants to keep his seat
in 2014, he better let his facial locks
pour forth like a mighty stream.”
according to the mystical doc-
trines of Kabbalah, Boteach said,
the beard “is able to deliver spiritual
sustenance from a very high place,”
circumventing “the natural spiritual
progression.”
while donors to Beard PaC
cannot circumvent federal election
requirements that they be ameri-
can nationals and that they disclose
their name and employer, unlimited
individual, corporate, and labor-
union contributions can be made at
Beardpac.com.

LarrY YudeLson

French chief rabbi too humble to quit

amid calls for his resignation over rev-
elations that he committed plagiarism
and used unearned academic titles,
France’s chief rabbi, Gilles Bernheim,
said he made “serious mistakes.”
“resigning now would be an act of
pride,” Bernheim said tuesday in an
interview with the Paris-based radio
shalom. “i must remain as a show of
humility.”

Bernheim acknowledged he did not
earn an “agregation” — a title obtained
by civil servants in competitive tests —
in philosophy. he said he had suffered
an injury just before he was supposed
to take the exam. several of his biogra-
phies said that he had passed the agre-
gation, the French media reported.
he also admitted “serious mistakes
but ones that do not directly concern
the tasks i was entrusted with as chief
rabbi.” Bernheim expressed the hope
that his explanations during the inter-
view would help “restore trust” in him.
the French daily Le Figaro on tuesday
reported that “there was heavy pressure”
coming from unnamed Jewish commu-
nity officials for Bernheim to resign.
Bernard Guigui, vice president of
the Marseille branch of the Consistoire,
which is responsible for religious Jewish
services, said on tuesday morning that
while “we do not demand Bernheim re-
sign, everybody is talking about it. i think
when you have such a huge responsibil-
ity and commit such an error, it’s better
not to embarrass and hurt the Jewish

community but step back and resign.”
Yael hirschhorn, a spokeswoman for
Bernheim, said that her office would
not comment on calls for Bernheim’s
resignation.
Bernheim said last week that his 2011
book “40 Jewish Meditations” con-
tained one passage that his ghostwriter
had plagiarized without Bernheim’s
knowledge.
since then, he has since been ac-
cused of at least three additional cases
of plagiarism in the same book and in
two earlier publications.
Jean-noel darde, a senior lecturer
at Paris 8 University, wrote on his blog
Monday that Bernheim plagiarized
another text in his essay against gay
marriage titled “homosexual Marriage,
Gay Parenting and adoption: what we
Forgot to say.” then-Pope Benedict
quoted from the essay during a speech
at the Vatican in december.

JTa WIre servIce

oP-ed

Forcing families to separate

when they come to your
simchah is wrong.

TeddY WeInberger

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Building bridges by breaking bread

Teaneck Conservative and Orthodox shuls sponsor joint kiddush to benefit IDF

JOANNE PALMER

Harold Steinbach and Jon Bendavid have
known each other for a long time.
They have much in common. They’re
both married, both have children. Both
have lived in Teaneck for almost 30 years.
Both are committed, observant Jews.
Ah.
They are different kinds of committed,
observant Jews. Bendavid is Orthodox. He
belongs to Congregation Bnai Yeshurun.
Steinbach is Conservative. He belongs to
Congregation Beth Sholom.
The two men met when Bendavid
coached Steinbach ’s daughter in Little
League, not through any Jewish experi-
ence (or, to be precise, through any more
formally Jewish experience).
But although the divisions between the
Orthodox and the liberal Jewish streams
of American life are deep here in northern
New Jersey — so deep that at times they
seem unbridgeable — at other times there
seems to be the merest little shakes of pos-
sible change.
Steinbach was at Bnai Yeshurun for two

Shabbatot in a row, a few months ago, to
celebrate aufrufs. (They were for relatives
— family usually bridges even bigger gaps.)

“I knew a bunch of their guys from Little
League coaching,” he reported later.
“They have a longstanding kiddush at
Bnai Yeshurun that the men’s club puts
on,” he said. “You can have the men’s club
do a whole fleishig kiddush, as long as
you invite the whole shul. They buy it, set
it up, serve it, and clean it up.” It’s elabo-
rate, frequently it’s delicious, and often it’s

a fundraiser for a commonly held goal.
“I said it would be wonderful if we” —
Beth Sholom, he meant — “could do it,
too,” he said.
“So Jonny Bendavid, who is big on k’lal
Yisrael, said, ‘Do you want to do some-
thing with us?’ I said ‘I’d love to.’ I hadn’t
spoken to anybody at my own shul, but
I’m concerned because things are so
polarized.

Joyce and Jon Bendavid.

Harold Steinbach

Lessons of a broken neck

Englewood’s Joshua Prager reflects on faith, hope, and childhood

ABIGAIL KLEIN LEICHMAN

Joshua Prager’s fourth-grade teacher at
the Moriah School of Englewood once
brought her husband to meet the class.
Dina Cochin wanted to impress upon the
children that although her husband was
blind, disability can have positive aspects.
“When we go to bed and turn the lights
off, I have to stop reading, but my husband
can keep reading because he has Braille
books,” Prager remembers his teacher
saying.

“We all thought that was so cool. It made
a big impact on me,” said Prager, an award-
winning journalist whose new ebook, “In
Half-Life: Reflections from Jerusalem on a
Broken Neck” (Byliner, $3.99), describes
coming to terms with his own disability.
Prager spoke with the Jewish Standard
about his modern Orthodox upbringing
in Englewood and how Mrs. Cochin and
other adults helped shape the person he
was becoming on the day when everything
changed.

“Am I paralyzed? Am I going to die?”
Prager recalls asking an Israeli paramedic
on May 16, 1990, after a careless Arab truck

driver blindsided the minibus in which
Prager and a friend were riding, just west

of Jerusalem. Barely 19, he was
finishing his gap year in Israel.
The paramedic assured him
he was fine. But yes, he was par-
alyzed from the neck down. And
without an emergency intuba-
tion, he would have died.
Flown back to New York, for
two weeks he lay in the intensive care unit
at Presbyterian Hospital, where his father,

Kenneth, is a staff pulmonologist. Among
his visitors was Rabbi Shmuel Goldin of
Englewood’s Congregation Ahavath Torah,
where the Pragers have been active mem-
bers since moving to the city in 1973 with
2-year-old Joshua.
“I remember when Rabbi Goldin came
to our shul [in 1984], it struck me that here
was a man who not only gave stimulat-
ing divrei [words of] Torah, but was also
a remarkable community rabbi, and I saw
that front and center when my accident
happened,” Prager said.
“He came to visit me in intensive care
every single day, and learned Talmud with
me. I enjoy Talmud, but when you suffer
an injury like I did, it’s hard to focus. He
would sit beside me and hold up the text in
front of me and learn with me. Every day
for two weeks.
“I never forgot that.”
In the book, Prager mentions a later
encounter with Rabbi Isaac Swift, Goldin’s
predecessor. He recalls this rabbi as “kind
of a god-like figure to a little boy: a tall
man with white hair and a British accent,
invested with importance. He was very
good to me.” Every time teenaged Prager

see BUILDING BRIDGES Page 8

Joshua Prager’s paralysis failed to dim his ap-

preciation of life’s defining moments.

We should have
more of this
sort of thing —

not reasons to
divide us,
but
things to bring
us together.

JON BENDAVID

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 7

Local

JS-7*

chanted the week’s Torah portion for the
congregation, using the silver hand-shaped
pointer, Swift would comment, “Your right
hand has lost none of its cunning,” in refer-
ence to Psalm 137.
Soon after Prager’s right hand had
regained its cunning, Swift came by and
placed his palms on the head of the con-
valescing teen, who’d been wheeled from
his room to an atrium along with other
patients.

Prager writes: “Isaac Swift was tall and
thin, with a white goatee and a varicose
nose. His British accent underscored his
bearing, and his voice now boomed clear
through the atrium: “Yevarechecha Ado-
nai v’yishmerecha.” May the Lord bless
you and keep you.
“I was mortified. No, rabbi! NO!
“But I, who one month before had wres-
tled a trio of classmates, pinning each, was
unable to fend off a rabbi in his eightieth
year. And as the litany unfurled — God
asked to shine his face upon me, to be gra-
cious to me, to lift up his countenance to
me, to give me peace — I wished to disap-
pear. But I saw over my stockinged feet
that the congregation was not listening,
the yellow man beside me, his saffron
urine bagged between us, minding his tea.

And so I succumbed to a
blessing.”
Though Prager’s faith
broke along with his third
and fourth vertebrae, his
appreciation of tradition
grew stronger.
He writes: “It is tradi-
tion, the musical tells us,
that balances each fid-
dler on the roof, each of
us ‘trying to scratch out
a pleasant, simple tune
without breaking his
neck.’ And when you do
fall from the roof, tradition
gives ballast then, too. For even when we
have nothing else, we have each other.
We can share a Sabbath or a ball game or
a book. Or we can pray. It is the uncon-
nected who waste away.”
He did not speak of these matters to
Swift, Goldin, or any other rabbi. He found
his own unorthodox, way.
“As a person who has had doubts and
doesn’t believe, I nonetheless like practic-
ing Judaism and it’s comforting to be in a
religion that has room for a person like
me,” he said.
“You practice Judaism because it’s a

beautiful way of life, at
least to my mind. To
see it practiced as beau-
tifully as I always did
by my parents and my
community has made
me want to do the same
— even if I don’t believe.
I happen to love not only
Jewish philosophy and
learning, but also Shab-
bat and keeping kosher.”
And some prayer, too.
Months after the acci-
dent, when Prager finally
was freed from a urinary
catheter, he agreed to his father’s sugges-
tion of reciting “Asher Yatzar,” an ancient
prayer of thanksgiving for the ability to
eliminate bodily waste. In 1997, with his
son’s permission, Kenneth Prager wrote
about the significance of this moment in
an essay published by the Journal of the
American Medical Association.
“It became a sensation, translated into
various languages, hung outside a gajillion
bathrooms,” Prager writes in a footnote.
Last year, his 94-year-old grandfather
was hospitalized. “I told him I’d put on
tefillin everyday in his zechut [merit], and

it meant a lot to him,” says Prager. “It’s
been very nice. I decided to do it forever-
more. It’s hard for me to wrap it because
of my left hand, but I do it.”
Prager reflects that he was raised with
an appreciation of cultural diversity. He
was delivered by his father at 2 a.m. after
the second Passover seder — before dawn
on Easter Sunday — at a time when his
father was the physician on a Sioux res-
ervation in South Dakota. A local resident
named Sidney Walks Quietly designed
the birth announcement. In Englewood,
young Joshua played on a municipal Lit-
tle League team and joined the local Cub
Scout pack instead of all-Jewish alternate
versions of these activities.
Now living in New York City, Prager was
a senior writer for the Wall Street Journal
and has been published in Vanity Fair, the
New York Times, and even The Jewish
Standard, for which he wrote a 1995 report
about the North Jersey delegation to a mas-
sive pro-Israel rally in Washington, D.C.
His first book, “The Echoing Green,” was
a Washington Post Best Book of the Year.
Prager also is an up-and-coming public
speaker. His latest TED talk, describing
his reunion with the truck driver respon-
sible for the accident 22 years earlier, will

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Home is Where You Make it

8 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

JS-8

Local

“Then Jonny came up with the idea a
few weeks later,” Steinbach said. “‘We do
things for charities,’ he said. ‘Let’s do that
together.’ And I said ‘It’s brilliant.’ And it
was.”

Bendavid is president of the men’s
club at Bnai Yeshurun, and Steinbach is
a member of the club at Beth Sholom,
which is affiliated with the Conservative
movement’s Federation of Jewish Men’s
Clubs.

The men decided that Beth Sholom
would host the kiddush, set for April 13,
and Bnai Yeshurun would run it — they’d
work with the caterer and the mashgiach
to ensure that everything would be done
to their satisfaction.
The cause it would benefit was one
both sides could agree upon. They chose
the Israel Defense Forces; local Jewish
organizations are strong, fierce support-
ers of the IDF, and especially the lone sol-
diers who are among its troops.
The venue for the kiddush is new for
Bendavid, but the mission is not. “We’ve
been doing this at Bnai Yeshurun for

seven or eight years now,” he said. “We
work with different organizations to sup-
port the IDF. We do it once a year; nor-
mally, we raise between $35,000 and
$40,000, but during the war in Leba-
non, we raised between $150,000 and
$200,000.
“It’s a big shul.”
Both shuls’ rabbis — Beth Sholom’s
Joel Pitkowski and Bnai Yeshurun’s Ste-
ven Pruzansky — are okay with the idea,
Bendavid reported, and he is enthusi-
astic about the layout of Beth Sholom’s
kitchen. Because it’s an outside caterer,
there would have to be a mashgiach in
any case, according to Beth Sholom’s
rules, so there is no question about
whose standards to impose.
“It’s something we should be proud
of,” he said. “People should know that
we’re doing it. We should have more of
this sort of thing — not reasons to divide
us, but things to bring us together.”
It is not lost on Bendavid that this joint
kiddush will take place the day before
Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s memorial day,
which falls this week on Sunday, April 14,
and two days before Yom Haatzma-ut,
the country’s Independence Day, which

always is the next day.
“We don’t do much on Yom Haatzma-
ut in the Orthodox world,” he said. “We
get together, we say a few prayers, we
sing Hatikvah and eat some food, so I
thought it would be appropriate on or
about Yom Haatzma-ut to honor the kids
who serve in the army, where they sacri-
fice their lives a lot of the time.
“We all go to Israel all the time, and
we’re all being protected by these kids
who are 18, 19 years old. I think that at
least once a year we can go, eat a lot of
food — and say thank you to them.”
Bendavid also thinks that the more
connections that can be built to connect
various parts of the Jewish world, the
stronger the whole structure will be.
“I’d like to see more cooperation about
things we can agree on, like the Holo-
caust programs the whole community
puts together every year,” he said.
“There is not a lot we all can do
together. This is another bridge.
“Once you meet people, they’re not
strangers any more. You get to know
them, you see that they have feelings too.
They have their own issues.
“In the end, we’re all the same.”

go online April 17. (Details on this, and on
downloading “Half-Life” to computer or
mobile device, are available at www.josh-
uaprager.com.)
His love of words may perhaps be traced
to Dina Cochin, who promised member-
ship in a book club to any fourth grader
completing three works by one author.
Eager to win a membership pin, he read
three books each by Roald Dahl and E.B.
White.

“When Mrs. Cochin died and I paid a
shiva call, I brought my pins to show her
family. I was then a reporter at the Wall
Street Journal,” said Prager, whose father’s
first cousin, Elliott Prager, is now Moriah’s
principal.

Jane Wallace, a seventh-grade English
teacher, further encouraged his literary
bent. “We read one story that had a pro-
found effect on me, about a man who com-
mitted suicide by jumping off a building —
and only while falling did he think of the
beautiful things in life that would no lon-
ger be available to him,” Prager said.
“Difficult points in life heighten your
appreciation for the beautiful things. As
a person who is paralyzed on half of his
body, I’m forever aware of what I don’t
have, so I’m also aware of what I do.”

Building bridges

from Page 6

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Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 9

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Social action at the forefront

Rabbi Saperstein assess the battles won and those yet to come

Larry yudeLson

What does it take to top
Newsweek’s list of most
influential rabbis?
For Rabbi David Saper-
stein, 65, who headed the
list in 2009 (this year he
ranked number 2), the
answer is: A solid institution.
Saperstein, who heads
the Religious Action Center
of Reform Judaism in Wash-
ington, will be in Wayne Fri-
day night. He will deliver the Rabbi Israel
Dresner Tikkun Olam lecture at Temple
Beth Tikvah, honoring the synagogue’s
rabbi emeritus.
Saperstein said that unlike those rabbis
who were on the Newsweek list “because
of personal attributes and individual per-
sonal accomplishments, some of us are on
simply because we are associated with sig-
nificant influential institutions.” His con-
sistently high ranking on the list, he said,
“is a real validation of the Reform move-
ment’s efforts in social justice.”
That may be. But as the list — now
posted at the Daily Beast website, and
this year written by former Forward
writer Gabrielle Birkner — sees it, Saper-
stein has been dubbed “Obama’s rabbi”
and serves as “de facto liaison” between
the Obama White House and the Ameri-
can Jewish community.
“In 2009 and again this year, President
Obama invited him to participate in a pri-
vate prayer service on Inauguration Day,”
Birkner noted. “Saperstein is a powerful
progressive voice on a range of legislative

issues — gun control, labor
relations, curbing carbon
emissions, and gay marriage
among them.”
Saperstein’s own story is
one of institutional continu-
ity and growth.
He is the son of a Reform
rabbi — Harold Saperstein,
who built a congregation
in Lynbrook, Long Island,
from 50 to 1,000 members
over a nearly 50-year ten-
ure; who served as presi-
dent of the New York Board of Rabbis;
and who was commencement speaker at
the Reform movement’s rabbinical semi-
nary the year it ordained Sally Preisand,
the first female Reform rabbi.
“He was a great role model to have,”
Saperstein said. Both his father and
mother, Marcia Saperstein, shared “this
deep passion for social justice in a Jew-
ish context. They had a love of the Jewish
people, a love of social justice, a love of
America.”

Saperstein’s rabbinical roots run even
deeper; two great-grandfathers were
Orthodox rabbis and two great uncles
were Reform rabbis. So was an uncle. And
his brother, Marc Saperstein, is a Reform
rabbi who is a professor of a Jewish stud-
ies at George Washington University and
principal of the Leo Baeck College-Center
for Jewish Education in London.
(As for his children, both college stu-
dents: “You never know. One is minoring
in religion. But they’re more focused on
the arts.” His wife, Ellen Weiss, has made
her own career choices; she is a former

vice president for news at National Public
Radio.)

For David Saperstein, too, academic life
had its pull. He considered becoming an
English professor before deciding on twin
graduate degrees as a rabbi and an attorney.
“They are the two great institutions able
to help people in need and help society
address problems,” he said.
The role of rabbis and lawyers in fix-
ing society was clear in the early 1960s,
when Saperstein was growing up and the
civil rights movement topped the social
justice agenda. Rabbis such as Israel “Sy”
Dresner played a leading role in civil
rights protests (see sidebar). Although
the Religious Action Center, founded in
1961, was a small two-man organization
at that time, it earned prominence as the
site where Jewish lawyers drafted key civil
rights bills.

After his ordination, Saperstein served
as rabbi at Congregation Rodeph Shalom
in Manhattan before joining the Religious
Action Center in Washington.
That was in 1974. Saperstein has been at
the RAC ever since.
Perhaps appropriately for someone
whose career reflects continuity with his

father’s, Saperstein is most proud of mak-
ing social action an integral part of what
it means to be a young Reform Jew. Lob-
bying in Washington through the Religious
Action Center has become an integral part
of the Reform movement’s National Fed-
eration of Temple Youth organization, and
a program he created his second year on
the job brings college graduates to work at
the center for a year.
“All over Washington, I see graduates of
our high school and college and post col-
lege programs, as full-time staff on Capitol
Hill, working in public interest groups, as
Supreme Court clerks,” he said. “I’ve seen
the people who have come through these
programs go on to become rabbis and
leaders of the Jewish community.
“Now I’m getting the children of people
who were legislative assistants in my early
years. All of that is immensely satisfying.”
This cultivation of future leaders only
redounds to the Reform movement’s influ-
ence in Washington.
He recalled with pride “the day when
I got a call from the legislative director of
the office of a California senator who said,
‘Stop your people from calling. We can’t
get any work done. You’ll get the vote you

Local ‘social justice institution’ is 84

Larry yudeLson

Rabbi David Saperstein will be joining
in the celebration of Rabbi Israel “Sy”
Dresner’s 84th birthday Friday night.
And he couldn’t be prouder.
Saperstein cites Dresner as part of
the generation of civil rights heroes
who inspired his own choice to become
a rabbi — and as one of the people with
whom he has worked most closely over
the years.

“He was someone who worked with
Dr. Martin Luther King, who was one of
that mid-century generation of social
justice giants who made a significant
contribution in reshaping America to
be a more compassionate and just soci-
ety,” Saperstein said.
Dresner is one of only a dozen lifetime
members of the Commission on Social
Action of Reform Judaism, which brings

together lay and rabbinic leaders to set
out the movement’s political positions
and direct the work of the Religious
Action Center that Saperstein heads.
Saperstein says that Dresner “is
not only a social justice institution in
his community and the state; he was
nationally known for his eloquence and
the depth of his knowledge of policy
issues. There were few who knew pub-
lic policy issues as deeply, as richly as
Sy Dresner did. People looked to him to
bring in expertise for the social justice
discussions and policy discussions we
were having.
“He has an encyclopedic mind. He
absorbed what he read and remem-
bered it. His ability to cite sources and
give numbers was really impressive. He
has retained his gift. He’s like a walking
encyclopedia of social justice battles in
America,” Saperstein said.

Rabbi David

Saperstein

Above, Rabbi Alex

Schindler, Ben Hooks,

and Saperstein at an

affrmative action

rally in the 1960s.

Left, Saperstein with

civil rights leader

Althea Simmons.

aLL photos courtesy rac

Local

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 11

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wanted.’”

None of the issues that Saperstein has
tackled since the Ford Administration have
had the clarity — or the decisiveness — of
his predecessors’ work as they battled to
end segregation in America. In some ways,
though, that work is never ending.
“The civil rights agenda has expanded to
include broader ethnic and gay rights,” he
said. “The way that hunger presents itself
now — that has changed.
“Sometimes these things cycle,” he said,
citing increasing threats to abortion rights
in recent years. “It’s particularly sad when
you think you’ve made progress and there
are setbacks.”
But some successes stand out.
They include the Senate’s ratification of
the Genocide Treaty in 1986, culminating
a 37-year battle that began when the Pol-
ish-born Jewish lawyer and human rights
advocate Raphael Lemkin, who coined the
term “genocide,” drafted the treaty in the
Reform movement’s offices.
Saperstein similarly recalls “the passage

of nonproliferation legislation for chemi-
cal and biological weapons that we helped

write, and that we led the effort to get
passed in Congress in 1990, with our

troops on the ground in the Gulf.”
And he is proud of the RAC’s role in the
1987 Soviet Jewry rally in Washington,
which was coordinated out of the group’s
offices.

While the issues on the social justice
agenda may change, Saperstein believes
the principals to be eternal.
“The fundamental dignity, the funda-
mental rights, of all human beings, based
on the notion that we are created in the
Divine image, has to be fully implemented
in the legal, social, and political realities of
the world,” he said.
“We can’t go on with the structural
inequality that has left two billion of our
brothers and sisters living on two dollars
a day or less, where preventable diseases
ravish areas of our planet, where there are
still hundreds of millions of people who
suffer from severe malnutrition and mil-
lions dying of starvation.
“We have the ability to do things our
ancestors could only dream about. The
failure to do that is our failure,” he said.

In the iconic march on Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, center, was

fanked by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath.

Local

12 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

JS-12*

A chant encounter with God

How a Paramus teen grew into a rabbi in search of heaven’s gate

JOANNE PALMER

“I think I remember you. You were the
weird one.”

That, according to Rabbi Shefa Gold,
was what one of the first people to “teach
me that Judaism could be a path with pas-
sion, because he had such passion,” when
she encountered him again at a conference
years later.

If weird means intense, unusual, inner-
directed to a fault (in a way that no doubt
could be called willful by detractors), God-
intoxicated, and supremely self-confident,
then there is no doubt her teacher was
right.

Gold, who now lives in New Mexico, is a
well-known Renewal rabbi who practices
meditation and chant, but her roots are
deep in northern New Jersey.
Gold — who then was known as Sherri
Katz — was born in Shanks Village in Rock-
land County, a town that was converted
from barracks for war-bound soldiers to a
prisoner of war camp, to a haven for newly
returned GIs desperate for housing. When
she was a month old, her family moved to

Paramus. She’d encountered the teacher
at Hebrew school at the Jewish Commu-
nity Center of Paramus — his name is Rabbi
Avi Weiss.

Gold’s father, Leon Katz, was a journal-
ist who wrote press releases for the Port
Authority of New York and New Jersey,
chronicling the huge projects that char-
acterized the postwar boom. “Whenever
something was happening at a bridge or
tunnel, we’d be woken up in the middle
of the night. We’d know whenever any-
body jumped off the George Washington
Bridge,” she remembered. “He was a good
writer — this was a way to write and sup-
port the family.” Her mother, Evelyn Katz,
who died in January, was a schoolteacher.
“She was innovative — she had one of the
first open classrooms, and it was in a tough
part of Hackensack,” her daughter said.
Gold “was always asking questions and
never quite satisfied with the answers,”
she said. “I think I always had a great
love for God, although I didn’t always
know how to talk about it, or who to talk

about it with.” (She is striking in her abil-
ity to discuss God, with an unusual lack of
self-consciousness.)
God-awareness fills her earliest memo-
ries. “I’d go with my friend Naomi to Van
Saun Park or to the Ridgewood duck pond,
and we would make up our own services,
sitting there by the water,” she said. “Prob-
ably we were 7 or 8. We would find a little
poem and read it — we started as soon as
we could read — a poem about flowers, or
about nature. I don’t think that we had
the vocabulary to say ‘holy,’ but we’d find
a place that would make us feel very spe-
cial, that would make us want to whisper.”
She also went to junior congregation at
shul, she said, “and I did learn the vocabu-
lary, but it couldn’t compare to what I felt
in nature. That was a big disconnect.” It
also has fueled her rabbinate, which “has
been about making a bridge between all
these intense experiences of connection
to God, to creation, to all of life — how do
I connect these experiences to my life as
a Jew?

“How do I receive my inheritance and
allow it to match that intensity?”
Gold remembers always struggling to
connect her sense of Jewishness to her
sense of God. “When I was 14, I suddenly
had a driving desire to go to Israel,” she
said. “My parents didn’t have the money
to send me on a program. So I called all of
the local rabbis, and asked if they would
donate money from their discretionary
funds.

“I was really quite shy,” she continued,
perhaps straining her listener’s credibility

slightly. “But I was
driven, and I did raise
enough money.” She
went to Israel.
“I wanted to go to the
Wall, which had only recently been liber-
ated, and wasn’t segregated. I remember
wanting to bring a message to the Wall,
because of this burning question in me,
really wanting to make sense of the litur�y.
I wanted to bring that question to Israel, to
place it in a crack in the Wall.
“I did, and the next day I went back
and found the actual piece of paper and
brought it back home with me. I felt that
God must have read it by now, and I
wanted to hold it close to my heart.”
Later, back at home, Gold was dealing
with high school. “I went to Paramus High
School, and I really hated it,” she said. So
she started another one.
“Thirteen kids from around Bergen
County started our own free school,” she
said. “Really, for me, it was survival. This
was the most empowering moment of my
life. We could really ask the questions —
what did we want to learn and how did we
want to learn it?”
What were her parents thinking? “They
thought that they believed in me. They
knew that I was self-motivated, so they
didn’t worry about me,” she said. “They
didn’t know exactly what to do with me,
but they trusted me.”
The school opened with 13 students —
“all the misfits in Bergen County” — and
30 teachers, all of whom were willing to
teach without being paid for it. Classes met

in people’s homes, in a boys’ club, and in
various churches. It lasted for five years.
After high school (and an eventual GED),
Gold, who also was singer/son�writer,
played at many of the clubs flourishing in
Greenwich Village.
“I remember the pinnacle of my success
was at the Café Wha?” she said. “What I
was really trying to do with my music was
create sacred space. I felt how powerful
music is in opening hearts.”
She couldn’t always be successful in that
goal — after all, she was playing in bars,
where people went to drink — “but there
were moments when I felt that something
magical had happened.
“I knew that the power of music would
always be central to how I moved in the
world.”

Next, Gold went to Ramapo
College, where she studied phi-
losophy and poetry; roamed
Europe; lived on Ibiza (the art-
ist’s haven in Spain) and even-
tually landed in California. “The
Jewish part of me was under-
ground, in a sense,” she said. “It
wasn’t until I moved to Berke-
ley and really experienced
what was called the Aquarian
Minyan, infused by Shlomo and
Reb Zalman, that I realized that
being Jewish could be so fun and creative.”
(Shlomo was Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, the
late and still influential one-time-Lubavitch
singer, son�writer, and storyteller; Reb Zal-
man is Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi,
one of the most influential figures in the
Jewish Renewal movement.)
She studied at Goddard College, where
she earned a masters in the philosophy of
creativity. “If I wrote a song, I would want
to find where the song began in me,” she
said. “What was the seed moment?” The
program was nonresidential, so once more
she took to the road, with her guitar and a
backpack full of books. Her travel took her
throughout this country and to the Middle
East.

She supported herself by busking, sing-
ing for money thrown into her open gui-
tar case. “I’m very good at living on very
little,” she said. “If I needed to get a job
for a short time I did, and I learned from
everyone I met.”
She married during her travels, and she
and her husband toured the country per-
forming a play about Martin Buber in syn-
agogues. “I was sort of stepping into my
rabbinic calling, but I didn’t know it at the
time,” she reported.
In 1987, a near-fatal car accident in
Florida upended her life. Her marriage
ended, “and I was in a lot of physical and

see GOLD Page 14

Leon and Evelyn Katz and their four children picnic in Bergen

County. Inset: Sherri Katz grew up to be Rabbi Shefa Gold.

PHOTOS COURTESY SHEFA GOLD

I really felt
that the whole
idea of
being
afraid of God

was so wrong!

RABBI SHEFA GOLD

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 13

JS-13

Local

14 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

JS-14

emotional pain,” she said. “I wasn’t able
to do much of anything, but I had an expe-
rience of being held by God that really
opened my heart. I really listened to the
way God was calling me, and it felt like I
was falling in love.
“I came back to California and, by the
end of the year, I applied to rabbinical
school.”

Gold took eight years to complete the
program at the Reconstructionist Rabbini-
cal College in Philadelphia. RRC seems an
unlikely choice for her — generally, Recon-
structionists tend not to talk about God in
the constant and personal way that she
does — but “it was the place, in 1988, that
was most open to creativity,” she said. She
had discovered New Mexico by then, “and
every two years I would take one year off
to come and live on a mountain and study
spiritual practice.
“I took a year to study the practice of
retreat. I did a series of retreats in the con-
text of Native American vision quests, and
Buddhist and Sufi spirituality, all the time
holding in my heart the question of what
it would mean to do within an authentic
Jewish path.

“That’s when I discovered this path I’m
on now. It’s called chanting.

“I decided to open the siddur. I wanted
to bring to life words that were dead, so I
brought everything I knew about spiritual
practice, about breath, about rhythm, to
bring these words to life.
“I noticed that I could take one phrase
and fall in love with it and repeat that
phrase over and over until its secrets were
unlocked.

“When you chant, some phrases pop
out and say ‘chant me,’ because there
is something there that you are ready to
receive. It was my job to look at the text in
that way and allow it to be useful for me.
“I had certain criteria for my spiritual
practice. Does it bring me to a place of
more open-heartedness and less judg-
ment? Then it is a good practice. There are
some practices that separate me, or make
me feel judgmental. That’s how I know it’s
not the right path.”
Gold graduated from rabbinical school
in 1996. “I’ve been building my rabbinate,
which I knew from the beginning wasn’t
going to be in one place, but all over the
world,” she said. “Whenever I travel, I find
people who are inspired by my vision of
what it means to be Jewish, and I began to
gather students who come to my retreats.”
She writes — she’s written “Torah Jour-
neys” and “In the Fever of Love,” which
intersperses verses from the Song of Songs

with her own explications of them. She’s
released CDs of her chanting, which she
has continued to explore. She remar-
ried — she and her husband, Rachmiel
O’Regan, work and tour together. And “in
2004 I began a training program called Kol
Zimrah, for cantors, rabbis, and lay lead-
ers who want to explore this modality of
chants together. I have found that chant is
useful not just in davening, but also in text
study, in healing, in ritual, and in creating
community.”
She explained how her method works.
“There is a phrase in Psalm 24, ‘Lift up
your heads, oh you gates, lift them up.’
I don’t understand what it means. But I
begin to chant it, and then it feels like God
is chanting with me, or through me, and
then it feels like God is saying, ‘Lift up your
head, open your gate, Shefa, because you
are the gate through which I want to come
into the world.’ I know that what it means
is that when I step out of Shabbat and
into the week, I will become that firm and
steady gate through which God’s presence
can move into the world, so it means that I
have to get out of the way.
“I have to become transparent and find
that strength within me.
“The text comes to life and becomes a

practice.”

Chanting is not like singing, she added.

“Chant has an inner dimension to it. It’s
a lot about kavannah” — intention — “and
it also brings you to a doorway that leads
you to silence.
“The silence after the chant is, as if not
more, important than the chant itself. I
think of the chant as building the mish-
kan” — the tabernacle that held God’s pres-
ence from the time the Israelites wandered
in the wilderness until Solomon built the
First Temple — “and the silence afterward
is when we receive the divine presence
into the mishkan. You become a new per-
son. It is a transformative practice.”
This exploration of text and chant
has become a new book, “The Magic of
Hebrew Chant: Healing the Spirit, Trans-
forming the Mind, Deepening Love.” Jew-
ish Lights is publishing it this month.
Gold’s students often have monthly
chanting groups, she said. Some are fairly
local; one meets at B’nai Keshet in Mont-
clair, one at Romemu on the Upper West
Side, and another at the JCC in Manhattan.
Gold also still has many ties to this area.
She has siblings in Fair Lawn and Park
Ridge, as well as the Park Slope section of
Brooklyn. “I’m the only one who flew the
coop,” she said. But she still remembers
that as frequently as she has felt God in her
life, among the first times she did so were
in Van Saun Park.

Gold

from Page 12

Jewish Culture

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RYNJ to host scholarship reception

The Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey’s
annual scholarship reception will be
on Sunday, April 21, at 5:30 p.m., at the
River Edge school. The reception raises
funds for financial assistance — a need
that grows more acute in these economi-
cally difficult times. Longstanding faculty
members Helen Pollack and Bonnie Zitter
will be honored.
For more information and donation
opportunities, call (201) 986-1414 or email
Mordy Rothberg at mordy@confiehq.

com or Menachem Schechter at michael.
schechter@jpmorgan.com

Bonnie Zitter

Helen Pollack

HASC camp schedules fundraiser

A community-wide fundraising recep-
tion for Camp HASC, the award-winning
summer program the Hebrew Academy
for Special Children runs in the Catskill
Mountains, will be held on Sunday, April
21, at 6 p.m., at the Feldman home, 1649
Hanover St., Teaneck.
Avi Sacks, who is the director of the
Blanche Kahn Medical Center and a for-
mer Camp HASC program director, will
speak at the barbecue, whose co-chairs

are Dena and Moshe Kinderlehrer and
Careena and Drew Parker.
Camp HASC provides more than 300
mentally and physically handicapped
children and adults with the opportu-
nity to enjoy a seven week sleepaway
camp experience similar to those of
many of their siblings and friends. The
camp depends on contributions for its
programs. For information, call (718) 535-
1989 or go to www.hasc.net/bbq.

Chananies and Glasers
are JCC of Paramus honorees

The Jewish Community
Center of Paramus will
honor Beth and Robert
Chananie and Nina and
Gary Glaser at its annual
dinner dance on Sunday,
June 9. A commemora-
tive ad journal will be
published in conjunction
with the event.
Nina Glaser, who is
active in many of the
JCCP’s activities, is par-
ticularly involved in fun-
draising there; she was
a member of the board
and has sat on its reli-
gious, egalitarian, rab-
binical search, Israel trip,
and chesed committees,
among many others. She
was also co-president of
the young couples club
with Beth Chananie. She
served on the board of
her children’s elemen-
tary and middle school,
Solomon Schechter Day School of Ber-
gen County, for 12 years, and was its vice
president of development; and she also
volunteered and did development work
for their high schools, the Golda Och
Academy (formerly Schechter of West
Orange), Metropolitan Schechter, and
Schechter Westchester. Gary Glaser, who,
along with Robert Chananie, was co-pres-
ident of the JCCP’s men’s club, also served
on the JCCP board of directors and was an
auctioneer for several JCCP fundraisers.
The Glasers have two children, Andrew
and Arielle.

Beth Chananie has
been a vice president
at the JCCP, worked on
dinner dance publicity,
chaired activities for the
community affairs com-
mittee, and is a facilitator
for the book club. She has
been active in the youth
committee, served on the
cantorial search commit-
tee, and was co-chair of
Rabbi Arthur Weiner’s
installation committee.
She also volunteers for
the Jewish Federation of
Northern New Jersey and
works with an animal res-
cue group called Start II.
Rob Chananie began the
Tallis and Tefillin group
for children approaching
bar mitzvah age, coached
JCCP youth basketball,
and served on the house
and High Holiday com-
mittees. Together with
Gary Glaser, he co-chairs the High Holi-
day Security and Ushering committees.
He has emceed comedy nights and tal-
ent shows, and in 2011 he was honored
as Chattan Torah on Simchat Torah.
Together, the Chananies served on the
JCCP’s board of trustees. They are the
parents of three children, Joshua, Rachel,
and Michael.
Beth Janoff Chananie is also the com-
munity editor at this newspaper.
For information on the dinner or to
place an ad in the journal, call (201) 262-
7691 or go to www.jccparamus.org.

Robert and

Beth Chananie

Gary and Nina Glaser

Photos by Phyllis Polevoy

Children enjoy Great Adventure trip
sponsored by Ohel Bais Ezra

During Chol Hamo-eid Pesach, more
than 70 participants in Ohel Bais Ezra’s
day programs had a day of fun at Six Flags
Great Adventure. A team of Ohel volun-
teers and professionals accompanied
children with developmental disabilities

from across New York City’s five bor-
oughs. Ohel Bais Ezra provides a range of
programs and services. The Chol Hamo-
eid trip is one of Ohel’s many recreational
and respite programs throughout the
year for 5- to 21-year-olds.

Ohel participants enjoy visiting Great Adventure.

courtesy ohel

NORPAC Teaneck event
features Maine senator

On Sunday, April 28 at 10:45 a.m., NORPAC will host
meeting with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) at the home
of Rena and David Schlussel in Teaneck. Drs. Mort and
Esther Fridman and the Schlussels are the event chairs.
For information, call (201) 788-5133 or email Avi Schranz
at Avi@norpac.net.

Sen. Susan Collins

courtesy ryNJ

For an IDF general,
a bittersweet time of year

On Tuesday night, former Englewood
Mayor Michael Wildes and his wife, Amy,
hosted a gathering for the organization
Our Soldiers Speak, which brings active-
duty Israeli soldiers to the United States
to report on the Jewish state’s security
situation. The group’s founder, Sgt. Ben-
jamin Anthony, was among the guests;
the evening’s speaker was Maj. Gen.
Noam Tibon, a 30-year veteran of the

Israel Defense Forces.
Tibon began his talk by pointing out that
Pesach and Yom Hashoah had just ended,
and next week Israel will mark its 65th
birthday. That it is always a bittersweet
observance because the day before Yom
Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, the
state marks Yom Hazikaron, Memorial Day.
Over the years, Tibon said, he has lost 30
men under his command.

From left, Michael Wildes,

IDF Maj. Gen. Noam Tibon,

Rabbi Menachem Genack,

and Sgt. Benjamin Anthony,

founder of Our Soldiers

Speak, on Tuesday evening

in Wildes’ Englewood

home.

Editorial

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Lois Goldrich
Miriam Rinn

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Abigail K. Leichman

Science Correspondent

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About Our Children Editor

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Rebecca Kaplan Boroson

16 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

JS-16

Twice murdered

Matilda Goldfinger was murdered for a sec-
ond time last week.
Her name probably means nothing to
most people, but millions here and around
the world know what she looked like: a
young mother in a long black coat, her hair
partially pulled back in a bun, her hands
up in the air, staring at well-armed Nazi
troops to her far left. Between her and the
troops stood a little boy, dressed in a mid-
length coat and short pants, with a cap on
his head, and his hands also held up in the
air. They were being evacuated from the
fallen Warsaw Ghetto.
It is one of the most famous photographs
of the Shoah. The Jewish Federation of
Northern New Jersey, for example, used it
to publicize its annual Holocaust Memorial
Day observance.
No one knows who the boy was or what
was his fate, but Matilda Goldfinger’s fate
is known: She was one of our martyred Six
Million.

Not too long ago, a man came forward
in London claiming to be the little boy
in the photograph (the fifth to claim that
distinction). A charedi Israeli newspaper

published the story, including the iconic
photograph. The newspaper, Bakehillah (In
the Community), could have published just
the boy’s photograph, as so many others

have done in the past. Instead, it chose to
use the entire photograph.
It made only one change: It blurred out
the head and face of Matilda Goldfinger, for
reasons of “modesty,” presumably because
the woman’s hair was not covered.
The editor told the web-based Ynet news
site that “we…only put in front of [our read-
ers] what they need and want to see.”
Apparently, those readers had no need
or desire to see a young woman being led
to her death because she was a Jew.

The Lady was once a hypocrite

The “Iron Lady,” Britain’s former prime
minister, died this week.
To be sure, Lady Margaret Thatcher
deserves much of the praise being heaped
on her by Jewish leaders here and in Great
Britain, and by officials in Israel. For most
of her stewardship of Britain, she was
regarded as an ally of Israel and a friend
of the Jewish community of Great Britain.
If not for her bringing Jews into leadership
positions in the Conservative Party, Baron
Andrew Feldman most likely would not be
the co-chair of the Tories today.
There is, however, another side to
Thatcher’s record that is not being men-
tioned. There was a time when she accu-
rately could have been labeled the Great
Hypocrite.

On April 2, 1982, Argentinian troops
invaded the offshore Falkland Islands and
South Georgia. Argentina laid claim to the
islands in 1833, when Britain seized them
for itself. Now, 149 years later, it sent its
troops to take back the islands, inhabited
by more penguins than people.

Even as intense diplomatic negotia-
tions got under way, Thatcher prepared
for war. Supporting its cause was the fact
that a majority of the 2,500 or so island-
ers wanted to remain with Britain. That is
understandable; Argentina at the time was
under the thumb of a cruel and oppressive
military junta that in today’s world would
stand guilty of crimes against humanity.
In a matter of days, Thatcher dispatched
what she told Parliament on April 14 was
“a formidable force, comprising two air-
craft carriers, five guided missile destroy-
ers, seven frigates, an assault ship with five
landing ships, together with supporting
vessels. The composition of the force and
the speed with which it was assembled and
put to sea clearly demonstrate our deter-
mination” to reach a peaceful settlement.
She said Britain wanted a peaceful reso-
lution but insisted that war had to remain
an option. The “argument of no force at
any price” was simply out of the question,
she said.

In the end, Britain landed 9,000 troops

on the islands. After 74 days, 908 dead,
and several thousand wounded, Argentina
surrendered on June 14, 1982.
Eight days earlier, on June 6, Israeli
troops crossed into Lebanon for “Opera-
tion Peace for Galilee,” the First Lebanon
War.

The Palestine Liberation Organization
had occupied portions of southern Leba-
non for over a decade. Being a stone’s
throw from Israeli settlements made it
easy to launch terrorist raids into Israel
and to rain down missiles on nearby kib-
butzim and towns.
By 1981, Israel had established a strate-
gic relationship with Maronite Christian
forces in South Lebanon and maintained
forward bases there. The June 6 “incur-
sion” was meant to end the PLO threat
against northern Israel and the Maronites
of South Lebanon once and for all.
Thatcher, still fighting a just war against
a repressive Argentinian regime 8,000
miles away from her comfortable home
at 10 Downing Street, could not see the

justice in Israel’s cause. She led Europe
into a virulent condemnation of Israel for
doing next door what she was doing at that
very moment halfway across the world.
On June 11, Thatcher wrote to Egypt’s
president, Hosni Mubarak, that “[t]here
can be no justification for Israel’s action.”
On June 14, the day Argentina surren-
dered to Britain, she echoed that senti-
ment in a letter to Jordan’s King Hussein,
telling him how “appalled” she was at Isra-
el’s invasion.
She also sent a “Dear Ron” letter to
President Ronald Reagan, urging him to
end the special relationship with Israel
and adopt what she called an “even-
handed” approach to the Middle East and
its problems.
Lady Thatcher was a person of
great stature who did many great
things. Amid the accolades and
the testimonials between now and
her funeral next Wednesday, how-
ever, this part of her story also must
be told.

Matilda Goldfnger’s

fate is known:

She was one of
our martyred
Six Million.

Violence shatters, love helps heal

My father, Howard Lasher,

grew up on the corners of
Suffolk and Houston streets
on Manhattan’s Lower East

Side.

It was not an easy childhood. His dad,
Louis, died when my father was only 3, so
it was just my dad and my grandmother,
Ida, living together in a tiny apartment,
making ends meet. My father was always
a hard worker, and by the time he was 14
he already worked part time.
One of his jobs was a deliv-
ery boy for a jewelry store.
He lost this job on the day of
Don Larsen’s perfect game in
1956 World Series. It seems
that my dad was to deliver a
wedding ring for a wedding
taking place that day, but he
got sidetracked watching the
perfect game on television,
standing outside a storefront,
one of a crowd of ecstatic
fans. He did not make it to
the wedding on time, and despite the his-
toric game it seems that neither the store
owner nor the bride and groom were
pleased.

After attending CUNY at night, my father
landed a position in the mail room of a
Wall Street firm. It was the start of a very
successful 40+ year career on Wall St. In

1980 my father decided to invest in a coun-
try home, but he did not want to buy in
the Hamptons because he wanted a more
serene, peaceful country atmosphere. He
wanted his house to be at least metaphori-
cally a long way from the sidewalks and
concrete of Seward Park High School and
the Lower East Side.
My father found this country refuge in
Newtown, Conn. There were rolling hills,
farms, ponds, birds, and wildlife galore. I
remember the first time he
took me to see it. It almost
felt as if it were out of a fairy
tale. In fact, my father once
invited a friend whom he
had not seen for some time
to visit him there. The friend
called him, an hour late
already, and said, “I can’t
find your home, Howard. I
followed your directions but
I drove into some park and
had to turn around.”
The park was his home.
All of this was shattered in December,
with the Newtown Sandy Hook school
shootings and the murder of 26 beauti-
ful souls, including so many children. My
father was heartbroken. His special coun-
try refuge was shattered. But then the com-
munity rallied together in so many ways.
My dad and others worked so hard to bring

people together, to help them find resil-
ience and strength.
As a board member of the Koby Mandell
Foundation and a close friend of Rabbi
Seth and Sherri Mandell, I knew the
Mandells could offer love, support, and
practical guidance and advice. Friends
of mine in Englewood thought the same
thing, and immediately started to call
me, asking when we could get the Man-
dell’s to visit Newtown.
The Mandells 13-year-old son, Koby, was
murdered in an unimaginable act of vio-
lence in the Jerusalem hills 12 years ago.
Since then, they have devoted their lives
to helping survivors and the families of
victims of similar violence in Israel and
around the world. The Mandells have
developed an approach to helping chil-
dren cope with loss and trauma in the
safety of summer camp programs. They
also offer support and therapy groups
for grieving parents. They do this work
through a charitable foundation estab-
lished in their son’s name. The programs
of the Koby Mandell Foundation are well
respected and have been used as models
in other regions touched by violence.
“Our point is to touch people, give peo-
ple tools, and give a Jewish perspective on
how we have transformed tragedy” said
Sherri Mandell, who reached out to the
Newtown community shortly after the

Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
You can read her letter, “Ten Ways to Help
The Grieving Newtown Families From
a Mother Who Knows,” if you go to the
Times of Israel and search for her name.
The Mandells’ upcoming visit to the
United States — and to Newtown — is well
timed, as the town and the wider com-
munity continue to learn how best to
help those who are reeling from grief
and trauma following the December 14
tragedy in Sandy Hook. With all this in
mind, Congregation Adath Israel of New-
town and the Newtown Interfaith Clergy
Association are pleased to announce an
upcoming talk by Rabbi Seth and Sherri
Mandell on Sunday, May 5, at 4:30 pm.
The talk, “Building Resilience After Trag-
edy — A Guide for the Individual and the
Community,” will take place at Adath
Israel, located at 115 Huntingtown Road in
Newtown. This program is free and all are
welcome. I hope you will join me in show-
ing love and support for the community
of Newtown and all victims of violence.

Lee Lasher of Englewood is president of
Congregation Ahavath Torah there, a fellow
in the Berrie Leadership Program of the
Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey,
and a co-founder of Unite4Unity.

Lee
Lasher

Op-Ed

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 17

JS-17

‘And his
spouse’

‘Modesty’ keeps
women’s names off
invitations in Israel

I recently received a bar mitzvah invita-
tion that was addressed to “Teddy Wein-
berger and his spouse.”
The Hebrew text of the invitation was
fairly standard, thanking God and giving
the details of the celebration. Standard
too, unfortunately, since the family in
question is ultra-Orthodox, was the fact
that for each of the three sets of couples
that appeared at the end of the invitation
— the parents and the two sets of grand-
parents — the woman’s name was desig-
nated as had been my wife’s on the enve-
lope: “and his spouse.”
Apparently it is immodest for a wom-
an’s name to appear in print.
The invitation was at the cutting edge
of what passes for women’s modesty
these days in Israel: a restriction on
women’s presence so that, ideally, there
is no presence left. Other examples: cer-
tain public bus lines that travel through

ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods are segre-
gated by gender, women’s images on pub-
lic advertisements are frequently defaced,
ultra-Orthodox men refuse to sit next to
women on airplanes, and very religious
male soldiers refuse to be instructed by
female soldiers or to hear them sing at
army ceremonies.
I might have been prepared to over-
look Sarah’s absence from the invitation
were it not for the fact that at such a bar

mitzvah men and women are seated sepa-
rately. And unlike a few years ago, when
I attended the bar mitzvah of this fam-
ily’s older son, I have consciously made

a decision that may sound
funny but is really very
important to proclaim: I only
attend celebrations where
there is mixed seating.
You probably have never
heard of such a policy. What
you might have heard about
is the practice of attend-
ing a simchah only if there
is separate seating for men
and women. This “custom”
is relatively new. Decades
ago one could find even ultra-Orthodox
rabbis seated at simchah tables alongside
their wives, and it is only fairly recently
that such a practice has become treif.
Yes, separate dancing, where the
women cannot be seen, is no longer
enough to appease the strictly Orthodox.
Separate seating is de rigeur if you wish
to have “very religious” people as your
guests.

It’s time for Orthodox people like me to
speak up and say that we don’t enjoy sim-
chas without our spouses present beside us.
Perhaps this will lead to temptation?
Perhaps. Life is full of temptations and
you cannot eliminate them. I just know
that a simchah literally is supposed to
be joyous, and I will not be fully happy
if my wife is seated beyond a separating
partition.

Did I call up the family
of the bar mitzvah boy and
tell them why I wouldn’t be
attending their simchah?
No, of course not. I took
the easy way out and did
not respond and did not
attend the bar mitzvah.
(Like many simchas in the
ultra-Orthodox world, the
invitation arrived without
a request for an RSVP. I’m
not sure what the ultra-
Orthodox tell their caterers, but over
time they must have worked out some
kind of formula.)
I strongly believe that the modern reli-
gious have to stop acting as if the more
stringencies the better. Because guess
what? Sometimes stringencies are not
stringencies. Sometimes stringencies are
just plain old wrong. Forcing families to
separate when they come to your simchah
is wrong. So if you want me to dance —
okay, only with men — at your wedding,
make it a mixed seating event, and if you
can refer to my wife as “Sarah Ross” on
the invitation’s envelope that would really
make us happy.

Teddy Weinberger is an Israeli-American
writer who made aliyah with his family
in 1997.

Teddy
Weinberger

It’s time for
Orthodox people
like me to
speak up and
say
that we don’t
enjoy simchas

without our
spouses present
beside us.

18 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

JS-18

‘In the presence
of greatness’

Students remember Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik
20 years after his death

Cover Story

Cover Story

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 19

JS-19

Larry yudeLson

Rabbi Jacob Schacter was 5 years

old when he first met Rabbi
Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the
Orthodox scholar and teacher
who died 20 years ago at the age of 90.
Schacter was accompanying his parents
on a visit to patients at the hospital.
“As we walked to the main entrance,
coming to us was a tall distinguished-look-
ing gentleman surrounded by five adults,”
Schacter recalled this week.
“My father excitedly whispered to me,
‘That’s Rabbi Soloveitchik, that’s Rabbi
Soloveitchik.’”
Schacter, a professor of Jewish history
at Yeshiva University, will be speaking
about Soloveitchik at a program Sunday
at Yeshiva University, where Soloveitchik
taught Talmud and ordained thousands of
rabbis over a 45-year career.
Schacter’s father, Rabbi Herschel
Schacter, was the first rabbi ordained by
Soloveitchik. (The senior Schacter, who
died last month at 95, at one point led the
Conference of Presidents of Major Ameri-
can Jewish Organizations but was most
notable for his role as an Army chaplain,

where he was the first rabbi to visit the lib-
erated Buchenwald concentration camp.)
Already, at 5, Jacob recognized the name
his father whispered.
“I remember knowing who that was,
that that was a very special person.
“My father introduced me to Rabbi
Soloveitchik. He said, ‘Rebbe, this is my
son.’ Rabbi Soloveitchik leaned down and
gave me a caress on my cheek.
“At this point, one of the gentlemen
leaned down and said to me, ‘Don’t wash
your face for a whole week.”
For a child whose mother reminded
him to wash his face every night, this was
a shocking — and memorable — command.
“Metaphorically, I can still feel the
caress on my cheek, as the influence of
Rabbi Soloveitchik continues to be pro-
found on my life,” he said.
Schacter is hardly alone in feeling
that influence. From the beginning of
Soloveitchik’s career at YU in 1941, when
he replaced his father, Rabbi Moses
Soloveichik, who died mid-semester, on
the rabbinic school’s faculty, until he
retired from teaching and public appear-
ances in 1986 as Parkinson’s disease made
teaching and weekly travel from his home

in Boston too difficult, Soloveitchik was
the leader of Yeshiva University’s variety
of college-educated Orthodoxy. He was
mostly referred to simply as “the Rav” —
meaning the rabbi.
Locally, it was his students who first

filled the pulpits and then filled the pews
as Bergen County’s Orthodox community
grew.

It is no surprise, therefore, that four of
the 13 speakers at a day-long commemo-
ration Sunday at Yeshiva University live in
Bergen County, as does one of the speak-
ers at an event held this week at Yeshivat
Chovevei Torah, the “open Orthodox” rab-
binical seminary in the Riverdale section
of the Bronx that opened in 1999.
In many ways, the young Schacter’s
first experience of Soloveitchik, which
included both a loving caress and a mys-
terious command, proved to be an early
introduction to the Rav’s religious mes-
sage. Soloveitchik’s worldview combined
a belief that halachah, or Jewish law, is
the central principle of Judaism with a
strong conviction that the commandments
reflected God’s love for man.
“He referred to our relationship with
God as a romance, something very real,
something very emotional, very experien-
tial,” Schacter said.
“He would say, ‘We are not robots.’ A
robot can also shake a lulav, but as human
beings, we need to engage the totality of
our humanness in our relationship with
God. It’s necessary but insufficient to do
the act; we need to do so with the human-
ness that is at our very core.
“Rabbi Soloveitchik was obviously very
insistent on the proper and appropriate
mitzvah performance.
“In our world today, sometimes there’s
an emphasis on the exactitude of behav-
ior to the exclusion of the emotional con-
nection. Sometimes there’s a focus on
the emotional and the spiritual to the

Students listen intently as Rabbi Soloveitchik lectures.

My father
excitedly
whispered
to me,

‘That’s Rabbi
Soloveitchik,
that’s Rabbi
Soloveitchik.’

Rabbi Jacob SchacteR

Students remember Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik
20 years after his death

a young Jacob Schacter

and his father, Rabbi

herschel Schacter, with

Rabbi Joseph P. Soloveitchik.

exclusion of the practicality of the law. The
combination of the two is a very important
message,” Schacter said.
Soloveitchik was born in present-day
Belarus in 1903. The bulk of his early edu-
cation was in the Talmud and traditional
texts — but his mother, Peshka Feinstein
Soloveichik, introduced him to the writ-
ings of Ibsen, Pushkin, and Bialik as well.
(The younger Soloveitchik did not spell his
name as his parents spelled theirs.) He was
tutored in secular subjects; his first formal
secular education began when, at 22, he
entered the University of Berlin. It was
there that he met Tonya Lewitt, whom he
married in 1931. She died in 1967.
His grandfather, Rabbi Chayim
Soloveichik, had been his generation’s
most prominent Talmudic scholar, and the
Rav often felt a gap between his old-world
experience and that of his American-born
students.

He felt “that he was very successful in
conveying to his American yeshivah stu-
dents the complexity of the halachic sys-
tem in all its richness, but was not as suc-
cessful in conveying what it felt like as a
little boy with his father and grandfather
on Yom Kippur,” Schacter said.
Now it is Schacter and his colleagues’
turn to try to convey the emotional feeling

of their own religious mentor. The young-
est of Soloveitchik’s students are now
approaching 50; half of YU’s undergradu-
ates were born after his death. And where

once he was able to demarcate clear lines
for the Orthodox community he led, now
his one-time students disagree on “what
would the Rav have said.”

With Sunday’s daylong commemoration
of Soloveitchik, “we hope to give those
who ‘did not know Joseph,’ to draw from
a biblical verse — who did not have a pri-
mary direct connection with him — some
sense of the complexity and multiplicity
and genius of this extraordinary human
being,” Schacter said.
At the heyday of his career, the Rav
would pack a hotel ballroom with 1,500
people, who had come to listen to a four-
hour talk on repentance or a Talmudic
passage. He would give such public lec-
tures two or three times a year.
“He was so charismatic,” recalled Rabbi
Menachem Genack, head of the Ortho-
dox Union’s kosher certification service,
rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in
Englewood, and editor of some of Soloveit-
chik’s lectures.
When he was a student at Yeshiva, even
before he advanced to the level of Soloveit-
chik’s top-level Talmud class, Genack
would attend the Rav’s weekly Tuesday
night class at a Manhattan synagogue. He
started going to those classes in 1964; he
continued studying with Soloveitchik as
long as he taught.
Genack said what captivated him about
Soloveitchik was “his extraordinary
pedagogy.”

Cover Story

20 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

JS-20

MOROCCO

pop. 32.3M

ALGERIA

pop: 37.4M

TUNISIA

pop. 10.7M

LIBYA

pop. 5.6M

EGYPT

pop. 83.7M

ISRAEL

pop. 7.9M

WEST BANK

(Judea & Samaria)

pop. 2.1M

GAZA STRIP

pop. 1.7M

JORDAN

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Rabbi Soloveitchik is fanked by Rabbi Dovid Lifshitz, left, and Rabbi Men-

achem Genack, right, at Genack’s wedding.

Cover Story

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 21

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He would discuss a Talmudic passage and ask a
question that “seemed so devastating. Then the solu-
tion he presented seemed so obvious.
“The experience of being in his shiur [class] was so
unique. You knew you were in the presence of historic
genius,” Genack said.
Genack will speak about Soloveitchik’s method of
Talmud study on Sunday.
In discussing a Talmud and Jewish law, the question
would not be why God commanded a particular mitz-
vah, Genack said. “God’s reasons are beyond explana-
tion,” he quoted Soloveitchik as having told listeners.
Instead, there would be a focus on the “what” of
a commandment — and in analyzing the subtle ways
later commentators understood it differently.
Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean of YU Center for the
Jewish Future, which is organizing the Sunday event

together with YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Semi-
nary, first encountered Soloveitchik when he was in 10th
grade. His father took him to one of the public lectures.
“I don’t remember much about it; just the throngs of peo-
ple who were there,” Brander said.
“It was intriguing to watch the engagement with his audi-
ence, when people tried to give answers to the questions
the Rav threw out, and then the Rav basically dissected the
answers.”

In organizing the conference, “We’re trying to not just
focus on the philosophy of the Rav, but on the Rav as a per-
son. Most importantly, one of his daughters, Atarah Twer-
sky, is going to speak,” Brander said.
“We want to make sure the next generation doesn’t just
know the Rav’s torah, but also the Rav’s personality, that
part of his romantic relationship with Hakodesh Baruch Hu”

What the Rav means
for non-Orthodox Jews

rabbi MichaeL chernick

Many of Rabbi Soloveitchik’s students fol-
lowed in his footsteps and devoted their
careers to teaching Talmud. Such students
dominate the senior cohort of Yeshiva Uni-
versity’s rabbinic faculty. A few took the
teaching outside Orthodox walls; among
them is Rabbi Michael Chernick of Teaneck,
who teaches Talmud at the Reform move-
ment’s Hebrew Union College in Manhattan.
Asked to summarize the importance his
teacher represents for his own students —
and for the broader non-Orthodox commu-
nity — this is what he wrote:

the rav was a thinker
who deeply probed issues
of the interface between
modernity and tradition,
issues with which every
contemporary Jewish
denomination struggles.
any Jewish thinker who
sensibly explains the value
of traditional observance,
and provides a deeply moving and intellec-
tually satisfying rationale for it, is valuable
to the thinkers and committed members of
Orthodox and non-Orthodox movements
alike. since the rav was a master of ratio-
nalizing tradition in the most eloquent and
persuasive terms, he is important to all Jew-
ish movements as they seek their own way of
engaging tradition.
reform Judaism no longer defines itself
by its negation of the claims of tradition.
rather, in its present-day form it is ready to
give tradition, usually meaning Jewish ritual
observance, a vote but not a veto. Contem-
porary reform Judaism in its most commit-
ted form asks its serious adherents to have
knowledge of the tradition, to observe it
at least on a conditional basis, and then to
choose it if it has spiritual meaning or reject
it if it does not. the rav’s Jewish thought is
important to that process, though clearly the
rav would under no circumstances have tol-
erated the “choice” aspect of this program.
after all was said and done, the rav consid-
ered halachah as binding, and it was for him
the sole prism through which the full spiritual
potential of a Jew could be attained.
nevertheless, for any thoughtful Jew of
whatever stripe the rav’s Jewish thought
— not only his brilliance when dealing with
halachic sources — is a tool for deeply con-
sidering what his or her Jewish spiritual life
and observance patterns ought to be.

the Rav confers with Rabbi Kenneth brander at

brander’s wedding.

Cover Story

22 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

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— the Holy One Blessed Be He — “was not
just his knowledge of all of Torah and all of
philosophy, but really was his concern for
humanity and the Jewish people,” Brander
said.

As a student at Yeshiva, Brander served
as one of the Rav’s assistants. That gave him
a chance to view the personal side of his
teacher, who would fly to New York from
Boston on Tuesday morning and spend two
nights in a private apartment in one of the
student dormitories before returning to
Boston after teaching class on Thursday.
Brander would share meals with Soloveit-
chik, organize his calendar, take dictation,
and stay overnight in the apartment with
him.

Brander will speak on the Rav as “ish
hachesed” — a man of kindness.

“As a teacher, he had pretty rigorous
demands of his students within the class-
room,” he said. “Outside the classroom, I
witnessed a Rav who was not only charm-
ing and warm, but always concerned with
the needs of the individual as he interacted
with students, heads of state, other gedolei
Torah, and lay leaders or rabbis from vari-
ous communities. He felt the pain of other
people.

“The Rav cared about every single person,
whether Mrs. O’Shea who cleaned the apart-
ment, or Menachem Begin who was on the
phone. His depth of caring was consistent,”
Brander said.
In the apartment, “it was a very relaxed,
informal, respectful relationship.” Brander
and the other assistants he shared responsi-
bilities with “would do our homework in the

apartment. Sometimes the Rav would
just ask us what we were working on. He
would make some comments and addi-
tions — it was always nice to be able to
footnote a comment by Rabbi Soloveit-
chik in your history paper.”
Brander remembers bringing his fian-
cée to meet Soloveitchik. “I remember
him getting out of his chair, walking to
the door of the apartment in a very halt-
ing way — his illness challenged him —
opening the door for Ruchie. He waited
until my wife sat down to sit. We had a
conversation together.
“When we asked the Rav if he would
come to the wedding, his response was,
‘if he was invited.’ Thank God he joined
us. The fact he made the effort to come
to the wedding, although he was in a
challenged state, was something very
special,” Brander said.
That wedding was Soloveitchik’s last
public appearance.
Another student from that era, Rabbi
Nathaniel Helfgot, recalls Soloveitchik
as “very grandfatherly. You hear stories
about the Rav in the ‘40s and ‘50s and
how tough he was. In the ‘80s, it was a
very different kind of experience. “
Helfgot is rabbi at Teaneck’s Congre-
gation Netivot Shalom, head of the Bible
department at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah,
and editor of a volume of Soloveitchik’s
correspondence.
“He was a man tremendously devoted
to Torah and teaching students — and
that really gave him life” in the face of
the illness that sapped his strength. “You
definitely felt you were in the presence
of greatness.”
Helfgot stressed that Soloveichik
“wasn’t easily categorized.
“He was very passionate about Torah
but very open to the world. He was
someone who tried to engage the whole
Jewish community yet at the same time
was very committed to his values. He
was a unique figure at a unique time
in Jewish history: He was able to give
Orthodoxy its backbone in the ‘30s and
‘40s and ‘50s, when many people wrote
it off as a vibrant movement. He really
gave it intellectual respectability. He
showed that Orthodoxy could function
in the world and not have to be in the
ghetto,” he said.
In his talk at Yeshiva Chovei Torah,
Helfgot planned to deal with Soloveit-
chik’s role at a key moment in the rela-
tionship between Orthodoxy and the
Conservative movement, when private
negotiations in the mid-1950s explored
the possibility of creating a national beit
din — a rabbinic court — that would over-
see religious divorces for both Orthodox
and Conservative rabbis.
In the end, those talks failed.
“On the one hand, the Rav was a
champion of Orthodoxy, making sure
standards were held to, making sure
people didn’t pray in a mixed-seating
shul. He was strong in holding the line.

On the other hand, practically, there
were issues behind the scenes, where
he tried to resolve some of the tensions”
between the two streams, he said.
Helfgot said that one of the lessons he
takes from the failed effort is “that it is
important to try to find some common
ground and trying to deal with every
issue practically, to try to minimize con-
flict while not giving up on your own
values.”

To the chagrin of the leaders of other,
more traditionalist Orthodox institu-
tions, Soloveitchik refused to join in their
condemnations of Orthodox rabbis who
cooperated with their Reform and Con-
servative peers in the Synagogue Council
of America and the New York Board of
Rabbis.

Within Orthodoxy, said Rabbi Michael
Taubes, Soloveitchik did not try to per-
suade his students of the superiority of
his own customs. Taubes, who heads
YU’s high school for boys and leads
Teaneck’s Zichron Mordechai congrega-
tion, will speak about some of Soloveit-
chik’s prayer practices on Sunday.
“He did certain things that are not nec-
essarily the norm in most Ashkenazic
communities, but have roots firmly in
tradition,” Taube said.
For example: “Rabbi Soloveitchik
felt that during the repetition of the
Shmoneh Esrei prayer, one should not
only stand, but stand with one’s feet
together,” reasoning that communal
prayer requires every member of the
congregation to act as if he is praying.
Yet while his own practices often went
back to his ancestors, who were among
the students of the Vilna Gaon, the 18th
century rabbi opposed the then-new
chasidic movement, Soloveitchik was
prepared to defend chasidic practices,
even if he wasn’t convinced they were
correct.

“For the most part, he encouraged
his students to follow their family tradi-
tions,” Taubes said.
For his own high school students, he
added, Soloveitchik “is someone they
recognize and understand to be a great
figure — but from the past.”
Sometimes, though, when Taubes
teaches an explanation he heard from
Soloveitchik, his teacher comes alive
again.

“Part of the greatness of the Rav was
that he was able to present things in such
a clear and compelling fashion that you
heard what he said and wondered why
you didn’t think of that yourself,” Taubes
said. “I’ve presented material from the
Rav to my students and they say, ‘Oh, it
makes so much more sense.’”

Watch at home

while sunday’s gathering
at Y.U. is sold out, it will be
streamed lived at YUtorah.org
from 9:30 to 12:30.

Briefs

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 23

JS-23

Sharansky offers plan
for egalitarian prayer site
at the Western Wall

Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky
reportedly presented a plan to Jewish leaders in New York
calling for a permanent egalitarian prayer section at the
Western Wall.

The proposal would turn an archaeological site adjacent
to the main Western Wall plaza into a permanent place
of egalitarian worship. Egalitarian prayer is allowed at
the site, near Robinson’s Arch, now, but only at specific
times. Under the proposal, the plaza would be expanded
to encompass the additional prayer space, which is at the
southern part of the Western Wall.
In a short statement released after Tuesday’s meeting,
Sharansky did not divulge any details of his plan.
“One Western Wall for one Jewish people,” Sharansky
said. “In this way, the Kotel will once again be a symbol
of unity among the Jewish people, and not one of discord
and strife.”

Jerry Silverman, CEO of the Jewish Federations of North
America, who was at the meeting, refused to go into
detail about Sharansky’s proposal, saying it had yet to
be presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for
approval.

Women’s prayer at the Western Wall has been a conten-
tious issue for years. Anat Hoffman, director of the Reform
movement’s Israel Religious Action Center and head of
Women of the Wall, has led a campaign aimed at permit-
ting women to recite prayers in a women’s minyan at the
Kotel. Orthodox groups have vigorously opposed such an
accommodation, saying it constitutes a violation of Jewish
law, and Sharansky’s plan likely would face stiff opposition
from Orthodox groups.
Initial responses from non-Orthodox Jewish leaders
mostly supported Sharansky’s idea. Rabbi Rick Jacobs,
president of the Union for Reform Judaism, told the N.Y.
Jewish Week that the initiative represented a significant
step toward “respecting and protecting the rights of non-
Orthodox Jews.”
Hoffman was quoted by the Forward as saying the plan
was not “everything we were hoping for” but still “a dra-
matic change, and it will make history.” JTA Wire Service

Hamas arrests teens
with long hair

Police in Gaza have begun arresting and humiliating teens
with long hair, shaving their heads. This is the latest sign
that Hamas is imposing strict Islamic rule.
According to the Associated Press, the crackdown
against teens with long hair and tight or low-waisted pants
began last week. More than two dozen young men have
been targeted in police sweeps by the police. The Pales-
tinian Center for Human Rights has called on Hamas to
investigate the “arbitrary detentions and violations of civil
rights of civilians.”
Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip since a bloody coup
against its Palestinian rival, Fatah, in 2007, and increas-
ingly has implemented strict Islamic laws in the coastal
enclave, including banning alcohol and placing restric-
tions on women.
The latest incident comes after Hamas imposed gender
segregation in Gaza’s schools last week. The new law bans
men from teaching in girls’ schools and enforces gender
segregation past the age of 9. It will take effect next school
year.

Early last month, the United Nations Relief and Works
Agency, in charge of Palestinian refugee affairs in Gaza,
canceled the Gaza Marathon after Hamas banned women
from competing.

JNS.org

Hagel to confer with defense chief in Israel

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is set to visit Israel
later this month for the first time since taking office,
Army Radio reported.
Hagel reportedly will arrive on April 21. He discussed
the planned visit with his Israeli counterpart, Defense
Minister Moshe Ya’alon, during a recent telephone call.
Iran’s nuclear program is expected to be the focus of the
talks Hagel will hold with Israeli officials.

There has been a recent flurry of visits to Israel by
top U.S. government officials. President Obama made
his first trip as chief executive to Israel in March, and
was accompanied by Secretary of State John Kerry, who
returned to Israel last Sunday for another visit and is
trying to restart the stalled Israel-Palestinian peace
process.

iSrAel HAyom/JNS.org

Jewish World

24 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

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OBITUARY

Thatcher remembered fondly
for her Jewish cabinet choices

ROn KAmpeAs

WAsHInGTOn — History will remember
former British Prime Minister Margaret
Thatcher for relentlessly facing down
communism and helping to turn back
more than three decades of socialist
advance in her country.
But it was Thatcher’s embrace of Brit-
ish Jews and insistent promotion of Jews
in her Conservative Party that inspired
an outpouring of tributes from Jewish
and Israeli leaders following her death
Monday at 87.
Thatcher, who suffered from dementia
in her later years, died peacefully after
suffering a stroke, her spokesperson
said.

Thatcher’s 1979-1990 tenure as prime
minister helped thrust Britain back onto
the international stage following its post-
World War II years of end-of-empire
angst and political turmoil.
For the country’s Jews, however, the
naming of at least five of their number to
Cabinet positions, along with Thatcher’s
determined pushback against anti-Jew-
ish grumbling among the Conservative
Party’s backbenchers, made what once
was laughable imaginable: the possibility
of a Jewish prime minister.
“Lady Thatcher was always extremely
supportive and admiring of the ethos of
the British Jewish community,” Vivian
Wineman, the president of the Board of
Deputies of British Jews, said.
Wineman said the mutual admiration

was rooted in personal history. In the
1930s, Thatcher’s family took in an Aus-
trian Jewish refugee. In 1959, Thatcher
was elected to Parliament representing
Finchley, a north London constituency
with a large Jewish population.
“She counted a number of Jews among
her closest advisers and confidants, and
at one point nearly a quarter of her Cab-
inet were of Jewish origins,” Wineman
said.

Moshe Maor, a Hebrew University
political science professor whose exper-
tise is Britain, said Thatcher admired the
British Jewish community’s self-reliance,
an ethos she embraced as she dedicated
herself to weaning Britons off public
assistance.

“Thatcher admired hard work, and
the Jewish community was not depen-
dent on the state,” Maor said. “It was
structured in such a way that Jews help
others in their community. That was the
culture Thatcher tried to advance.”
It was one also embraced by Britain’s
late chief rabbi, Immanuel Jakobovits,
whom Thatcher elevated to the House
of Lords. Frustrated by protests among
Christian leaders of the rapid pace of
her economic reforms, she increasingly
turned for spiritual reinforcement to
Jakobovits, who became widely known
as “Thatcher’s rabbi.”
Thatcher’s rule coincided with social
changes among the country’s 350,000
Jews. Once proudly working class, by
the 1980s British Jews had become

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visits Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak

Shamir in Jerusalem in 1986. YOssI ZAmIR/FlAsH90/JTA

Jewish World

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 25

JS-25

OBITUARY

Thatcher remembered fondly
for her Jewish cabinet choices

was rooted in personal history. In the
1930s, Thatcher’s family took in an Aus-
trian Jewish refugee. In 1959, Thatcher
was elected to Parliament representing
Finchley, a north London constituency
with a large Jewish population.
“She counted a number of Jews among
her closest advisers and confidants, and
at one point nearly a quarter of her Cab-
inet were of Jewish origins,” Wineman
said.

Moshe Maor, a Hebrew University
political science professor whose exper-
tise is Britain, said Thatcher admired the
British Jewish community’s self-reliance,
an ethos she embraced as she dedicated
herself to weaning Britons off public
assistance.

“Thatcher admired hard work, and
the Jewish community was not depen-
dent on the state,” Maor said. “It was
structured in such a way that Jews help
others in their community. That was the
culture Thatcher tried to advance.”
It was one also embraced by Britain’s
late chief rabbi, Immanuel Jakobovits,
whom Thatcher elevated to the House
of Lords. Frustrated by protests among
Christian leaders of the rapid pace of
her economic reforms, she increasingly
turned for spiritual reinforcement to
Jakobovits, who became widely known
as “Thatcher’s rabbi.”
Thatcher’s rule coincided with social
changes among the country’s 350,000
Jews. Once proudly working class, by
the 1980s British Jews had become

increasingly middle class, more likely to be self-
employed and alarmed at the leftward lurch of the
leadership in the Labor Party.
“She got on quite well with Jews,” Wineman said.
“She said once that she thought she probably had
more constituents in Tel Aviv than in Finchley.”
Thatcher never hesitated to advance the careers of
talented young Jews in her party, including Leon Brit-
tan, a secretary of trade; Nigel Lawson, a chancellor of
the exchequer (and the father of celebrity chef Nigella
Lawson); Edwina Currie, a health minister; Malcolm
Rifkind, a secretary of state for Scotland; and Michael
Howard, a secretary of employment.
Rifkind went on to become foreign minister. Howard
became home secretary and then opposition leader,
burying forever the notion that a British leader had to
belong to the Anglican communion, the country’s offi-
cial faith. (Benjamin Disraeli, who did become prime
minister, had been converted as a teen, although he
never could or would hide his Jewish roots.)
Thatcher’s embrace of the Jewish community did
not make its romance with the Tories a permanent
one. Tony Blair’s purges of the Labor left after his 1997
election helped draw back some Jewish voters. But
Howard’s precedent helped set the stage for ascension
of the current leader of the Labor Party, Ed Miliband,
the son of Polish Jewish immigrants.
Thatcher also earned kudos for her robust foreign
policy and maintaining strong ties with Israel at a time
of tension between the Jewish state and other Euro-
pean nations.

“She was truly a great leader, a woman of principle,
of determination, of conviction, of strength; a woman
of greatness,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netan-
yahu said in a statement Monday. “She was a staunch
friend of Israel and the Jewish people. She inspired a
generation of political leaders.”
Thatcher restored the notion of Britain shining
everywhere the sun rose when she launched a war
in 1982 to keep Argentina from claiming the Falkland
Islands. The war won — and the days of Argentina’s
autocracy of the generals numbered — Thatcher was
ready to take on the mantle of Iron Lady vs. Iron Cur-
tain. She became President Ronald Reagan’s indis-
pensable partner in squeezing the life out of Soviet
hegemony.

In 1983, she told leaders of the Soviet Jewry move-
ment that she would do “absolutely everything” to
support their cause, which dovetailed with her revul-
sion of communism.
Thatcher did not shy away from taking on Israeli
leaders. She tussled with Israeli Prime Minister Men-
achem Begin over his refusal to deal with Palestinian
leaders and the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor
in 1981, calling him the “most difficult” man she had
to deal with.

In the mid-1980s, she worked Shimon Peres, then
the head of a fractious national unity government,
to reach a peace agreement with Jordan, but it was
scuttled by Begin’s successor as Likud leader, Yitzhak
Shamir. Thatcher also pressed Reagan to deal with the
Palestine Liberation Organization, suasions that bore
fruit when the president recognized the group during
his final months in office in 1988.
Peres, now Israel’s president, said Thatcher’s
strength served as an example.
“She showed how far a person can go with strength
of character, determination and a clear vision,” he
said.

Cnaan Liphshiz contributed to this article.

JTA WIRe seRvIce

Iran opens mines as nuclear talks fail

Following a lack of progress in nuclear talks with the six
world powers last week, Iran has opened two new ura-
nium mines and a milling plant, Reuters reported.
The new Saghand 1 and 2 mines and the Shahid Reza-
einejad yellowcake plant became operational recently,
Iran announced on Tuesday, its National Nuclear Tech-
nology Day. They give the Islamic republic “greater self-
sufficiency in making the raw materials for enrichment to
nuclear fuel and, potentially, for warhead-grade material,”
Reuters reported.

“Iran has invested in the Saghand mine to help it
develop an independent source of uranium for its nuclear
requirements, but project development has proceeded
very slowly,” the International Institute for Strategic
Studies think tank said in a 2011 report on the uranium
deposits.

In a speech at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization on
Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said
Western countries have “tried their utmost to prevent Iran
from going nuclear, but Iran has gone nuclear.” Jns.ORG

26 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

JS-26

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Evening Hours

Office HoursBy Appointment

24 Godwin Ave., Midland Park, NJ · 201-444-7999
288 Boulevard · Hasbrouck Hts., NJ · 201-288-3000

MOST INSURANCE ACCEPTED· HOUSE CAllS

www.jstandard.com

African-Israelis
hope to change
community’s image

Ben SaleS

Tel aVIV — When Yityish Aynaw emigrated from
Ethiopia to Israel she was 12 years old, and she was
thrust into an Israeli classroom.
An orphan, lacking Hebrew skills, Aynaw says she
relied on other kids and her own sheer ambition to
get through.

Ten years later, Aynaw, 22, is the first Ethiopian-
Israeli to be crowned Miss Israel — a title she hopes
to use to showcase Israel’s diversity.
“Israel really accepts everybody,” she said. “That I
was chosen proves it.”
Ethiopian and other African-Israelis historically
have struggled with poverty and integration. But
recently, several African-Israeli women have made
a pop culture splash.
Ethiopian-Israeli actress Ester Rada, 28, has
just released her first solo rock record, to positive
reviews. And Ahtaliyah Pierce, a 17-year-old Black
Hebrew Israeli, reached the semifinals on Israel’s
edition of “The Voice,” a reality show in which
emerging singers compete.
Though their personal stories diverge, each
woman has experienced challenges as an African
immigrant and wants to use her fame to help other
African immigrants integrate better into Israeli
society.

“It’s hard for Ethiopians to adapt, but they should
be who they are, be the best that they can be,” said
Rada, who was born in Jerusalem to Ethiopian par-
ents who spoke Amharic at home. “Don’t let oth-
ers keep you down or make you feel like we don’t
belong.”

Rada’s parents stayed close to their Ethiopian
roots, eating traditional foods and listening to tradi-
tional music. But Rada rebelled. She refused to speak
Amharic and failed to understand why she should
feel tied to a country she had never seen and did not
understand.

see AfricAn-isrAelis Page 29

Yityish Aynaw, greeting President Obama

during his visit to Israel, is among several

figures hoping to use their fame to improve

the standing of African-Israelis.

aVI OhayOn / GPO / JTa

28 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

JS-28

Kaplen JCC on the Palisades

Life

your Center for

The Kaplen JCC on the Palisades
is a barrier free and handicapped
accessible facility.

April 12th, 2013 Iyar 5773| ג”עשת Welcome |םיאבה םיכורב

READERS’
CHOICE

2012

1st

Place-3Yearsina

R

o

w

Kaplen JCC on the Palisades | 411 E. Clinton Avenue | Tenafly, New Jersey 07670 | 201.569.7900| www.jccotp.org Find us on

facebook.com/KaplenJCCOTP

65

Co-sponsored with Israel Program Center
at the Jewish Federation of Northern NJ

We thank Osem USA for their continued support

*In case of rain, we will host activities indoors

...דועו םיילארשי םירמז םע היח העפוה

המ’גיפ תיירפס םע רופיס תעש

*ץוחב םיקחשמו תונחת ,הריצי תויוליעפ

תואמצעה םוי תא גוגחל ואוב

Come for a family celebration “Israeli Style”
Enjoy outdoor activities*
Arts and Crafts
Story time by PJ Library
Special Performance by Israeli group,
“Israel My Love” at 5:30 pm.
Event followed by Israeli Dancing.

Israel’s 65thBirthday

ג”עשת תואמצעה םוי

For more information call Aya at 201.408.1427

Yom Ha’atzmaut Community Celebration

Sunday, April 21, 2:30-6:30 pm

Computer Learning Center for Adults 40+

FreeOpen House/Orientation
Tuesday, April 16 10:30 am-12:30 pm

• Enjoy a free class on Most Interesting Websites
• Learn about our offerings
• Participate in practice session with hands on instruction
• One lucky participant will win a free course of choice!
• Refreshments

Classes start April 22

Fundamentals

Mac Beginners

Computer Level 1

Computer Level 2

MS Word 2007

MS Excel

Digital Photography

For a registration packet containing all fees and information
& to register, call Rachel at 201.569.7900 ext. 309

Get 20% off if you register by April 18

Contact Sharon Potolsky at 201.408.1405
or spotolsky@jccotp.org

The Money Talk Every Family
Needs to Have About Wealth
and Their Financial Future

With Lori Sackler, CFP, CIMA

Thursday, April 25, 7:30 PM

Event Chair: Deborah Davis

$30 JCC members, $36 non-members

Looking to help people keep their wealth
and family intact, Lori Sackler has written
this extraordinarily book that delivers
honest, timeless, and highly useful advice
to help investors and their families make
crucial financial decisions.

Lori Sackler is a Senior Vice President at Morgan
Stanley, a Certified Financial Planner and a
Certified Investment Management Analyst and
creator of The M Word radio show.

Free & Open
to the
Community

JS 041203_JS 041213 4/4/13 9:53 AM Page 1

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 29

JS-29

Jewish World

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 29

JS-29

381 MAIN ST.
HACKENSACK

OFNORTHERN NEW JERSEY

Jewish Federation

Live in concert

The Jewish Community
Center of Paramus

E. 304 Midland Ave. Paramus

RSVP 201-262-7691

April 14 | 2 - 4pm

Adults: $

20 in advance, $

25 at the door

Children 18 and under:

$
17 in advance, $

20 at the door

sponsored by

Celebrate
Yom Ha’Atzmaut
Israel at 65

and the

Jewish Community Center of Paramus

PLEASE JOIN US FOR A
PARLOR MEETING TO BENEFIT

MASK

MOTHERS AND FATHERS
ALIGNED SAVING KIDS

MONDAY APRIL 22, 2013 · 8:00 P.M.

AT THE HOME OF

SHELLY AND NOAM SOKOLOW

245 LYDECKER STREET
ENGLEWOOD, NJ
GUEST SPEAKERS:

RABBI DOVID GOLDWASSER
LEWIS J. ABRAMS,
ACSW, LCSW, CASAC

WE LOOK FORWARD TO GREETING YOU!
RABBI AKIVA BLOCK
RABBI MENACHAM GENACK
RABBI SHMUEL GOLDIN
RABBI ZEV REICHMAN

For further information, contact Victor Zilber 718-866-8620

MASK

Mothers and Fathers Aligned Saving Kids, began
as a grassroots organization in 1997. Fifteen years
ago, the Jewish community was seemingly immune
to contemporary problems, such as drugs, alcohol,
gambling and other at-risk behaviors. With time,
things changed. e anguished cries of concerned
parents began to surface, and so MASK was born.
Loving parents turn to MASK as a lifeline to
help them guide their families through a world of
increasing spiritual and emotional turmoil. rough
our confi dential helpline and groups, callers receive
referrals and support without judgment, shame or
stigma.
MASK has off ered 15,000 caring and courageous
families the necessary framework of support and
referrals.
MASK’s mantra is “Prevention, Prevention,
Prevention”

Ruchama Bistritzky-Clapman,
Founder/Executive Director

In recent years, the resistance has softened. Ethio-
pian culture “is a part of me and I can’t run away
from it,” Rada said. “I decided to embrace it. And
it’s helped me define who I am, in my culture and
in my music.”

Aynaw says it’s important for Israelis to see the
positive side of the Ethiopian community. She com-
pares the effect of her winning Miss Israel to Barack
Obama’s election as president of the United States.
The two met at the Israeli president’s residence dur-
ing Obama’s recent trip to the region.
“There are wonderful things about the Ethio-
pian community, and it’s important that Israelis see
it,” she said. “Israel is a multicultural state. We’re

diverse and we come from different countries, so we
need to show that outwardly.”
Rada and Pierce report incidents of racism
directed at them because of their skin color. A
woman once accused Rada of coming to Israel only
for the money. And Pierce says in her hometown of
Dimona, she used to be called “kushi,” a Hebrew
pejorative used to describe blacks.
“There are many stigmas about the community,
and unfortunate stories,” said Hava Tizazu, an Ethi-
opian-Israeli actress who works with at-risk African
youth. “Now there are new personalities who are
beautiful and positive. It helps to change the image,
but it’s just one step in a longer process.”
Since she advanced to the semifinals on “The
Voice,” Pierce says the slurs have all but stopped.
She was voted off the show in March, but like Rada
she hopes to keep performing after her army service.
“I want to be on stage,” Pierce said. “It doesn’t
matter if I’m modeling, singing, or acting. I have to
be on stage.”

Aynaw also hopes to model and act, and to sup-
port youth arts clubs during her year as Miss Israel.
She will represent Israel at the Miss World competi-
tion in September in Indonesia.
“I feel like a very important person,” Aynaw said.
“I don’t usually get up and see myself on all of the TV
channels. I’m definitely getting used to it.”

JTa WIre SerVIce

African-israelis

from Page 27

There are wonderful
things about the
Ethiopian community,

and it’s important
that Israelis
see it.
Israel is a
multicultural state.

YItYIsh AYnAw

www.jstandard.com

Yom Ha’atzmaut Feature

30 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

JS-30*

Sunday, April 14
7:00pm

Ceremony will begin promptly
Bergen County Y, a JCC
605 Pascack Road
Washington Township
201-666-6610

Hosted by

Jewish Federation of
Northern New Jersey
Bergen County Y, a JCC
with participation from
Fair Lawn Israeli Tzofim - Scouts
Temple Beth Rishon
Gerrard Berman Day School
The Nitzanim Israeli School

Community-Wide

Please join us for a

YOM HAZIKARON
COMMEMORATION

Honoring the Memory of Israel’s
Fallen Soldiers & Victims of Terror

OFNORTHERN NEW JERSEY

Jewish Federation

Following the formal presentation,
you are invited to join us for
a quiet sing-along of songs
influenced by Israel’s wars.

Marcella rosen

While a great deal of international and
media focus has been placed on Israel’s
military conflicts, the country quietly has
become an energetic, ambitious incubator
of entrepreneurialism and invention. What
follows is a timeline chronicling some of the
most important and interesting innovations
produced by Israelis during their country’s
65-year existence.

RUMMIKUB (1940s): Ephraim Hertzano
invents the smash hit board game Rummi-
kub, which goes on to become the best-sell-
ing game in the United States in 1977.

UZI MACHINE GUN (1948): Maj. Uzi Gaf
develops the Uzi submachine gun. Gaf
builds in many mechanical innovations,
resulting in a shorter, less unwieldy auto-
matic. It is estimated that more than 10 mil-
lion have been built; the Uzi has seen action
in numerous wars and in countries through-
out the world.

SUPER CUKE (1950s): Esra Galun’s
research into hybrid seeds leads to his cre-
ation of the world’s first commercial hybrid
cucumber. Their descendants and the tech-
niques Galun pioneered account for the
majority of cucumbers cultivated today.
Galun went on to develop early-blooming

From Rummikub
to the ‘God Particle’

A timeline of Israeli innovations

melons and disease-resistant potatoes.
His work continues to inform and influ-
ence crop genetics.

CANCER SCREENER (1954): Weizmann
Institute pioneer Ephraim Frei begins
groundbreaking research on the effect
of magnetism on human tissue. His work
will lead directly to the development of
the T-Scan system for the detection of
breast cancer, which the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration described as a “sig-
nificant … breakthrough.”

EARLY COMPUTER (1955): The Weiz-
mann Institute’s WEIZAC computer per-
forms its first calculation. With an ini-
tial memory of 1,024 words stored on a
magnetic drum, it is one of the first large-
scale stored program computers in the
world. In 2006, the Institute of Electri-
cal and Electronics Engineers recognizes
WEIZAC as a milestone achievement in
the fields of computers and electrical
engineering.

SOLAR ENERGY BENCHMARK (1955):

Harry Zvi Tabor develops a new solar
energy system that today powers 95 per-
cent of Israeli solar water heaters and
is the standard for solar water heating
around the world.

AMNIOCENTESIS (1956): Weizmann
professor Leo Sachs becomes the first to
examine cells drawn from amniotic fluid
to diagnose potential genetic abnormali-
ties or prenatal infections in develop-
ing fetuses. His work becomes known
as amniocentesis, a routine procedure
now conducted on pregnant women
worldwide.

LAB-BRED BLOOD CELLS (1963):

Sachs becomes the first researcher to
grow normal human blood cells in a
laboratory dish. This breakthrough

leads to the development of a therapy
that increases the production of cru-
cial white blood cells in cancer patients
undergoing chemotherapy.

DRIP IRRIGATION (1965): Founding
of Netafim, developer and distributor of
modern drip irrigation.

COLOR HOLOGRAM (1966): Asher
Friesem produces the world’s first color
hologram. He goes on to explore 3-D
imaging through work that leads to the
development of “heads up” displays for
pilots and doctors and other virtual real-
ity systems.

DESALINATION (1967): Sydney Loeb
takes a position at Ben-Gurion Univer-
sity, where he will develop the reverse
osmosis desalination process, now the
worldwide standard.

ADVANCED CELLULAR RESEARCH
(1970):
Ada Yonath establishes the only
protein crystallography laboratory in
Israel. She begins a course of research
on the structure and function of the
ribosome, the sub-cellular component
that produces protein, which in turn
controls all chemistry within organisms.
Her work lays a foundation for the emer-
gence of so-called “rational drug design,”
which produces treatments for several
types of leukemia, glaucoma, and HIV,
as well as antipsychotic and antidepres-
sant drugs. Along with two colleagues,
Yonath is awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize
in chemistry.

Marcella Rosen, the president of Untold News, is the author with David Kornhaber of “Tiny
Dynamo,” from which this timeline is excerpted.)

The battle tested,

widely used Uzi

machine gun.

Thank Esra Galune

for research into

super cukes.

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 31
Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 31

JS-31*

OPEN HOUSE

Bring the entire family!

at

221 County Road • Cresskill,NJ 07626
201.567.9310 • Fax:201.541.9224

www.care-one.com

Cresskill

A FIVE STAR RATED FACILITY

at

221 County Road • Cresskill,NJ 07626
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at

221 County Road • Cresskill,NJ 07626
201.567.9310 • Fax:201.541.9224

www.care-one.com

Cresskill

SUNDAY, APRIL 28TH
10AM 2PM

Relax with a
Free Massage in our Spa!
Enjoy live Music and Great Food
Including Hors D’Oeuvres
& Carving Stations!
Shop Early for Mother’s Day
at our Vendors!

Tour Our Newly Renovated Facility!

CareOne

at Cresskill

Facepainting
for the Kids!

Door Prizes!

Celebrate Israel’s Birthday

PJ Library and Temple Avodat Shalom
are having a party and
we want your family to join the celebration!

Sunday, April 14 • 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Temple Avodat Shalom
385 Howland Avenue
River Edge, NJ

Children 3-6 years old and their parents will take a magical ‘trip’ to Israel.
‘Travel’ around to different sites enjoying crafts, songs,
a PJ Library story, and a snack.

RSVPs appreciated to educator@avodatshalom.net
For more information call 201-221-5782

The State
of Israel
is turning
65

Celebrate Israel’s Birthday
Celebrate Israel’s Birthday

The State
of Israel
is turning

BLOOD DETOXIFICATION (1972):

Meir Wilchek demonstrates that “affin-
ity chromatography” — a method he
developed for separating biological or
biochemical materials — can be used to
detoxify human blood. The work leads
to the development of present-day tech-
nologies, employed around the world,
that are used to remove poison from a
patient’s blood.

DRONE AIRCRAFT (1973): Israeli
fighter jets sustain serious damage dur-
ing the Yom Kippur War. In response,
Israel initiates the development of the
first modern Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,
also known as UAVs or drones. The new
Israeli drones are lighter, smaller, and
cheaper than any of their predeces-
sors, with capacities such as real-time
360-degree video imaging, radar decoy
capability, and increased operating ceil-
ings. Drones enable Israel to eliminate
Syria’s air defenses at the start of the
1982 war with Lebanon without losing
a single pilot. Drones descending today
from Israeli designs conduct military,
civilian, research, and surveillance oper-
ations around the world.

COMPUTER PROCESSORS (1974):

Computer heavyweight Intel sets up an
R&D shop in Israel, leading to the devel-
opment of the globally ubiquitous 8088
processor and Centrino chip.

COMPUTER SECURITY (1977): Adi
Shamir, working with two American col-
leagues, describes a method of encryp-
tion. Now known as RSA, it is the single
most important encryption method
used worldwide to secure transactions
between customers and banks, credit
card companies, and Internet merchants.

DIGITAL AGE INFORMATION SHAR-
ING (1977):
Abraham Lempel and Jacob
Ziv develop the LZ data compression
algorithms. Aside from their trailblazing
academic applications, the algorithms
become the primary basis of early

computer information sharing. Today,
LZ algorithms and their derivatives make
possible our ability to send many types
of photos and images between comput-
ers quickly and easily.

FARM-SCALE FOOD STORAGE
(1980s):
Shlomo Navarro invents a
simple yet paradigm-shifting food stor-
age system intended to help farmers in
developing food-poor and resource-poor
areas keep their crops from spoiling after
harvest. The system evolves into Grain-
Pro Cocoons, water and airtight contain-
ers used around the world to prevent the
damaging effects of spoilage and para-
sites without the use of pesticides.

LEUKEMIA TREATMENT (1981): Elli
Canaani joins the Weizmann Institute.
His research into the molecular pro-
cesses leading to chronic myelogenous
leukemia, or CML, will result in the
development of Gleevec, a drug now pro-
vided to CML patients around the world.
The molecular processes discovered by
Canaani were subsequently discovered
to be at work in other leukemias, as well
as certain tumors and lymphomas.

UNDERSTANDING CELLULAR ACTIV-
ITY (1981):
Avram Hershko and Aaron
Ciechanover — along with American
counterpart Irwin Rose — begin work
that will lead to the discovery of ubiq-
uitin, a molecular “label” that governs
the destruction of protein in cells. The
discovery produces a dramatic improve-
ment in the understanding of cellular
function and the processes that bring
about ailments such as cervical cancer
and cystic fibrosis. In recognition of their
work, the team receives the 2004 Nobel
Prize in chemistry.

A NEW FORM OF MATTER (1982):

Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman dis-
covers Quasicrystals, a “new” form of
matter that had been considered not
only nonexistent but impossible. Shecht-
man becomes the object of disdain and

Rummikub, invented by Ephraim Hertzana, became the best-selling board

game in the United States in 1977.

32 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

JS-32

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Yom Ha’atzmaut Feature

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 33

JS-33*

We believe it’s our
obligation to safeguard
the future of the
Jewish community.

That’s why we endowed our
gifts to Jewish Federation.

Barbara and Philip Moss

Dor L’Dor Society members

THE STRENGTH OF A PEOPLE. THE POWER OF COMMUNITY.

Robin Rochlin | legacy@jfnnj.org | 201.820.3970

OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY

Jewish Federation

What is your reason?

ridicule, but his discovery eventually is vin-
dicated and earns him the 2011 Nobel Prize
in chemistry. Applications of Quasicrystals
range from the mundane (nonstick cook-
ware) to the arcane (superconductive and
superinsulative industrial materials).

COMPUTER LANGUAGE (1986): Com-
puter scientist David Harel develops
Statecharts, a revolutionary computer
language used to describe and design com-
plex systems. Statecharts are used world-
wide in areas from aviation to chemistry.
Harel’s work is also being applied to the
analysis of the genetic structures of living
creatures with the hope of applying sub-
sequent discoveries to the analysis and
treatment of disease, infection, and other
biological processes.

IMMUNOLOGY ADVANCEMENT (1991):

Weizmann Institute professor Yair Reis-
ner announces the creation of mice with
fully functioning human immune sys-
tems. Described from an immunological
perspective as “humans with fur,” the
mice provide for the first time a real-world
arena in which to study human ailments
and represent a major step forward in the
search for a cure for AIDS, hepatitis A and
B, and other infectious diseases.

BABY MONITOR (1991): Haim Shtal-
ryd develops the BabySense crib moni-
tor, which becomes standard child
safety equipment in millions of homes
worldwide.

OFFICE PRINTER (1993): Rehovot-based
Indigo Inc. introduces the E-Print 1000.
The device enables small operators to
produce printing-press quality documents

directly from a computer file, revolution-
izing the operations of work environments
of all stripes.

COMPUTER SECURITY (1993): Gil
Shwed, 25, and two partners estab-
lish the computer security firm Check
Point. Within two years, Check Point
signs provider agreements with HP
and Sun Microsystems. The company

experiences phenomenal growth, and in
1996 it becomes the leading provider of
firewall and security services — including
anti-virus, anti-spam, and anti-data-loss
security components — to businesses of
all sizes around the globe.

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS TREATMENT
(1996):
Teva Pharmaceuticals introduces
Copaxone, the only non-interferon mul-
tiple sclerosis treatment. The world’s top-
selling MS treatment, Copaxone helps
reduce relapses and may moderate the
disease’s degenerative progression.

INSTANT MESSAGING (1996): Mirabi-
lis launches ICQ, the first Internet-wide
instant messaging system. America Online
adopts the technology and popularizes the
world of online chat.

COMPUTER DICTIONARY (1997):

Introduction of the Babylon computer
dictionary and translation program.
Within three years the system will boast
more than 4 million users. Babylon even-
tually becomes integrated into most
user-level Microsoft programs, allow-
ing for seamless cross-language transla-
tion of millions of words at the click of
a mouse.

Israel pioneered development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, also known as

UAVs or drones, and used them to great advantage against Syrian defenses in

the 1982 war with Lebanon.

34 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

JS-34

Here’s your chance to cast your vote for your
favorite retailers and professionals and you will
be entered into a drawing to win one of these prizes:

• Visa Gift Card • Amazon Kindles • iPOD Nanos and Shuffles
• Gift Certificates to Stores and Restaurants • Show Tickets, And More!

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and cast your vote!

READERS’
CHOICE

2013
2013

BEST

Vote today!

Readers’

Choice

A supplement to The Jewish Standard · Summer 2011

JEWISH STANDARD

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 35

JS-35

Yom Ha’atzmaut Feature

Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013 35

JS-35

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Education for Humans

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“PORTABLE” SLEEP LAB (1997):

Itamar Medical Ltd. is founded, and
soon brings to market its Watch-
PAT sleep lab, representing a para-
digm shift in the treatment of sleep
disorders.

PILLCAM (1998): Given Imag-
ing develops the PillCam, now the
global standard for imaging of the
small bowel.

FIRST AID (1998): Bernard Bar-
Natan makes the first sale of his
Emergency Bandage. A giant leap
forward in field dressings, it has
become standard equipment in
both civilian and military first aid
kits worldwide.

NANOWIRE (1998): Research-
ers Uri Sivan, Erez Braun, and
Yoav Eichen report that they have
used DNA to induce silver parti-
cles to assemble themselves into
a “nanowire,” a metallic strand
1,000 times thinner than a human
hair. In addition to staking out new
ground on the frontier of electrical
component miniaturization, the
wire actually conducts electricity,
marking the first time a self-assem-
bling component has been made
to function and laying a path to
exponential advances in the field of
nanotechnology.

VISION-BASED CAR SAFETY SYS-
TEMS (1999):
Amnan Shashua and
Ziv Aviram found MobilEye, a com-
pany that provides advanced opti-
cal systems to car manufacturers to
increase safety and reduce traffic
accidents.

FLASH DRIVE (2000): M-Systems
introduces the flash drive in the
United States. Smaller, faster and
more reliable than floppy disks or
CD-ROMs, they will go on to replace
those technologies worldwide.

ADVANCED UNDERWATER
BREATHING TECH (2001):
Alon
Bodner founds Like-A-Fish, a man-
ufacturer of revolutionary under-
water breathing apparatuses that
extract oxygen from water.

GROUNDBREAKING SPINAL
SURGERY SYSTEM (2001):
Mazor
Robotics is founded and goes on to
introduce its SpineAssist robotic sur-
gical assistant, the most advanced
spine surgery robot in use today.

URBAN AIR COMBAT/RESCUE
(2002):
Rafi Yoeli develops the ini-
tial concept for the AirMule urban
carrier, combat, and rescue vehicle.

TERRORIST DETECTOR (2002):

In the wake of renewed terrorist
activity against Israel and the United
States, Ehud Givon assembles a
team of researchers to develop an
advanced and foolproof “terrorist
detector,” resulting in the WeCU
security system.

MICRO-COMPUTER (2003):

Weitzmann scientist Ehud Shapiro
develops the world’s smallest DNA
computing “machine,” a composi-
tion of enzymes and DNA molecules
capable of performing mathemati-
cal calculations.

BREAST TUMOR IMAGING
(2003):
The FDA approves 3TP, an
advanced MRI procedure, for use in
the examination of breast tumors.
The brainchild of Hadassa Degani,
3TP distinguishes between benign
and malignant breast growths with-
out requiring invasive surgery.

ANTI-BACTERIAL FABRICS
(2003):
Aharon Gedanken becomes
involved in the treatment of fabrics
to prevent bacterial growth, which
eventually will lead him to develop
the technology for treating hospital
fabrics with an anti-bacterial coating
that will dramatically reduce hospi-
tal infection rates.

CENTRINO COMPUTER CHIP
(2004):
Intel Israel releases the first
generation of the Centrino micro-
processor. Centrino is Intel’s mobile
computing cornerstone; it drives
millions of laptop computers around
the world. Successive generations of
Centrino have improved laptops’
function, speed, battery life, and
wireless communication capabilities.

TUMOR IMAGING (2005):

Insightec receives FDA approval
for the ExAblate® 2000 system, the
first to combine MRI imaging with
high intensity focused ultrasound
to visualize tumors in the body,
treat them thermally, and monitor a
patient’s post-treatment recovery in
real time, and non-invasively. Thou-
sands of patients around the world
have been treated.

LAB-GROWN HUMAN TISSUE
(2005):
Dr. Shulamit Levenberg
publishes the results of her work
in the development of human tis-
sue. Working with mouse stem
cells, Levenberg and her partner
Robert Langer produce the first lab-
generated human tissue that is not
rejected by its host. Levenberg goes
on to use human stem cells to create
live, beating human heart tissue and
the circulatory components needed
to implant it in a human body.

WATER FROM THE AIR (2006):

Researcher Etan Bar founds EWA
Technologies Ltd. In 2008 he pro-
duces a clean, green system that
harvests water from the humidity
in the air. The technology repre-
sents a boon not only to residents
of water-starved desert areas, but
also to farmers and municipalities
around the world. Each device has
the potential to provide two aver-
age American families with their
entire year’s supply of water with-
out contributing to global warming
or pollution.

PARKINSON’S TREATMENT
(2006):
The FDA approves
AZILECT, a breakthrough treatment
for Parkinson’s disease developed by
John Finberg and Moussa Youdim.
AZILECT dramatically slows the
progression of Parkinson’s in newly
diagnosed patients, increasing the
longevity of body and brain function
and improving the quality of life for
millions worldwide.

BEE PRESERVATION (2007):

Rehovot-based Beeologics is
formed. The company is dedicated
to the preservation of honeybees,
which are under threat from Colony
Collapse Disorder and vital to the
world’s food supply.

AIRPORT SAFETY (2007): Bos-
ton’s Logan International Airport
begins testing a new runway debris
detector developed by XSight Sys-
tems. XSight uses video and radar
monitors to identify and track run-
way debris, which has been identi-
fied as the cause of several airline
accidents, including the 2000 crash
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ple. XSight has the potential to save
more than $14 billion per year and
an untold number of lives.

TRAUMA VICTIM STABILIZER
(2007):
Dr. Omri Lubovsky and his
sister, mechanical engineer Michal
Peleg-Lubovsky, introduce the
LuboCollar, a device designed to
stabilize trauma victims while main-
taining an open airway. The device
replaces the standard procedure of
intubating trauma patients before
transport, saving an average of five
critical minutes between the field
and the hospital.

HISTORICAL SOLAR ENERGY
PROJECTS (2008):
Brightsource
Energy Inc. begins formalizing
agreements with California power
companies to develop the world’s
two largest solar energy projects.
SEPSIS MONITOR (2008): Tel
Aviv’s Cheetah Medical introduces
the NICOM, a bedside hospital

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monitor that can detect and determine
the treatment for sepsis, which occurs in
approximately one in 1,000 U.S. hospital
patients annually. Sepsis previously had
been treatable only after an invasive explor-
atory treatment, which itself could result in
sepsis. The device goes into immediate use
by hundreds of hospitals around the world.

ADVANCED FISH FARM (2008): GFA
Advanced Systems Ltd. launches Grow Fish
Anywhere, a sustainable, enclosed and self-
contained fish farming system that is not
dependent on a water source and creates
no polluting discharge.

A TWIST ON SOLAR ENERGY (2008):

Yossi Fisher co-founds Solaris Synergy, a
company that creates solar energy panel
arrays that float on water.
TOUGH POTATO (2008): Hebrew Univer-
sity professor David Levy caps 30 years of
research with the development of a powerful

strain of potato that can be grown in high
heat and irrigated with salt water. He shares
his findings — and discussions about where
they might lead — with scientists from Egypt,
Lebanon, Jordan, and Morocco.

LUGGAGE LOCATOR (2009): Yossi Naftali
founds Naftali Inc. and begins distributing
the Easy-To-Pick Luggage Locator, a remote
luggage tag that alerts travelers when their
luggage has arrived at baggage claim.

ARTIFICIAL HAND (2009): Professor Yosi
Shacham-Diamand and a team of Tel Aviv
University researchers succeed in wiring a
European-designed artificial hand to the
arm of a human amputee. In addition to
conducting complicated activities includ-
ing handwriting, the human subject reports
being able to feel his fingers. Achieving sen-
sation represents the culmination of Sha-
cham-Diamand’s work and a breakthrough
in the evolution of artificial limbs.

WATER PURIFICATION (2010):

Greeneng Solutions launches the first
of its ozone-based water purification
systems. Designed for commercial,
industrial, and domestic applications,
Greeneng’s product line uses ozone-
infused water to eliminate germs on
kitchen equipment, household sur-
faces, swimming pools and more. Puri-
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additive chlorine, and ozone produces
none of the harmful side effects of chlo-
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VISION LOSS TREATMENT (2010):

VisionCare Opthalmic Technologies
debuts the CentraSight device, a tele-
scopic implant that addresses age-
related macular degeneration. Centra-
Sight is the first and only treatment for
AMD, a retinal condition that is the most
common cause of blindness among first-
world seniors.

MINIATURE VIDEO CAMERA (2011):

Medigus Ltd. develops the world’s small-
est video camera, measuring 0.99 mm.
The device provides for new diagnoses
and treatments of several gastrointesti-
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HELPING PARAPLEGICS WALK
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The FDA approves clinical use of
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by Argo Technologies that allows para-
plegics to stand, walk and climb stairs.

BREAST TUMOR TREATMENT (2011):

IceCure Medical launches the IceSense
3, a device that destroys benign breast
tumors by infusing them with ice. The
procedure is quick, painless, and afford-
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basis. Soon after, clinical trials begin to
study the efficacy of the treatment on
malignant breast tumors.

MISSILE DEFENSE (2011): Iron Dome,
a short-range missile defense system
developed by Rafael Advanced Defense
Systems, shoots down a Grad rocket
fired at Israel from Gaza. It marks the
first time that a short-range missile has
been intercepted, opening up new pos-
sibilities for military, civil, and border
defense in the world’s conflict zones.

ENDANGERED SPECIES STEM CELLS
(2012):
Israeli scientist Inbar Friedrich
Ben-Nun leads a team of researchers
in producing the first stem cells from
endangered rhinos and primates in cap-
tivity. The procedure holds the potential

to improve the health of dwindling mem-
bers of many endangered species, as
well as staving off extinction.

DIABETES TREATMENT (2012): Dia-
Pep277, a vaccine based on the work
of Irun Cohen, is shown to signifi-
cantly improve the condition of Type 1
(juvenile) diabetes in newly diagnosed
patients.

HELPING THE BLIND TO “SEE”
SOUNDS (2012):
Dr. Amir Amedi and
his team at Hebrew University demon-
strate that sounds created by a Sensory
Substitution Device (SSD) activate the
visual cortex in the brains of congenitally
blind people. MRIs of blind people using
the device show that it causes the same
brain responses of sighted people. This
discovery allows the team to adapt the
SSD to allow blind people to “see” their
surroundings by learning to interpret
audio signals visually.

FUTURISTIC FOOD PACKAGING
(2012):
Israeli computer engineer
Daphna Nissenbaum creates a revolu-
tionary 100 percent biodegradable food
packaging material. Her company, Tiva,
produces materials for drink pouches,
snack bars, yogurt, and other foods —
all of which provide a minimum of six
months of shelf life, will completely
decompose in a landfill, and can be com-
posted industrially and domestically.

THE “GOD PARTICLE” (2012): Switzer-
land’s Large Hadron Collider produces
the Holy Grail of physics — the Higgs
Boson, or “God Particle,” a subatomic
particle that accounts for the existence
of matter and diversity in the universe. A
team from Israel’s Technion was charged
with building and monitoring the collid-
er’s elementary particle detectors, with-
out which the discovery of the Higgs
Boson would have been impossible.

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Tazria-Metzora: Life-giving groove

“If a person has on the skin of
his body… lesions of Tzara’as
[a supernatural skin afflic-
tion]… He should be brought
to Aaron the priest, or to one
of his sons, the priests [for
examination].” Leviticus 13:2.
“Rendering a person
unclean or clean can only be
through the pronouncement
of a Kohen, a priest.” (Rashi).
I recently spent a phenom-
enal Shabbos with an 88-year-
old Holocaust survivor.
She told me of her father,
shot dead by the Nazis just two
days before liberation because
he shared some of his meager rations with
a fellow victim in Mauthaussen. She told of
her mother from that vanished world, pious
and righteous, who sacrificed so much for
her daughter. “I miss her every day, still,”
she said.

The gas in Auschwitz choked her mother

to death.

I asked her if anyone ever prayed in the
barracks. “Of course,” she said. “I never
missed “Modeh Ani. There was a girl who

slept close to me who knew
the entire Tehillim, all 150
chapters of Psalms, by heart.
She used to say the words as
we were lying on those wood
shelves they called beds. We
would repeat those words
after her.”

Can anyone imagine thank-
ing God for returning their
soul to hell? We can’t even
imagine the hell of Auschwitz,
let alone praying and thanking
God for it. But that is what this
woman did. Every day, never
missing one.
At one point she said: “I saw
“Nissim” [miracles] in Auschwitz all the
time! God was there always. I saw it!”
Not everyone there felt this way. This
woman’s sister, whom she nursed through-
out their experience, did not want to hear
of Judaism after liberation. And I have no
doubt that when she arrived before the
heavenly throne two years ago, carrying
that tattoo as a blazing torch, she and God
Almighty patched things up.
Some live their lives seeing it; others

do not. Some cannot. And it is not for us
to judge.

It reminded me of a beautiful story the
midrash relates for this week’s parshah,
Tazria.

There was once a Kohen who was an
expert at examining Tzara’as, the extinct
skin ailment discussed in this week’s Torah
portion. This disease was neither painful nor
contagious but a result of not behaving prop-
erly. Some wrongly translate this disease as
leprosy. The Tzara’as disease was diagnosed
when the kohen observed the hair in the
afflicted area. The Kohen of our story was
extremely poor, and decided to leave the
Holy Land to seek a livelihood elsewhere.
Before leaving, he said to his wife, “Let
me teach you the principles of examining
Tzara’as so that you can advise people who
will come to our house in my absence. You
can tell whether someone is diseased or
healthy by examining the grooves under the
hair. Each hair is nurtured in its own groove.
If you find that the groove under the hair has
dried up, it is a symptom of disease.”
The wife wondered at these words. “If God
created a source of nourishment for each
individual hair, He must, all the more so, have

provided for you, a human being and head of
a family who has to support his children,” she
said. “Don’t leave the Holy Land! Stay here
and the Creator will certainly provide for you
here, too!”

The Kohen listened to his wife (always a
good idea...) and stayed in the Holy Land.
Soon he found a good source of livelihood.
It is a matter of perspective. A Kohen must
be the one to proclaim the status of the met-
zora (the person with the Tzara’as malady).
The sages describe the Kohen as genetically
kind and loving. Through the loving eyes of a
Kohen, a fellow person is seen in a different
light. Sometimes, though, the same Kohen
who is so adept at looking at someone else
that way does not look at himself with those
eyes!

All Holocaust survivors are very special
people. We look at them as heroes. We can
learn something positive from all of them.
And from those who managed to see God
through the wall of utter evil, we also can
learn how to see our way through things like
diseases, ailments, problems, terror and dif-
ficulties, Heaven forbid. For every hair has its
life-giving groove. And every person has one
as well.

Rabbi Moshe
Z. Schapiro

Chabad
Jewish Center
of Hoboken,
Chabad

Crossword by DaviD benkof

38 Jewish standard aPriL 12, 2013

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Alan Levine

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154 Perek III . 28b . דף כח:כפרכ ג׳כ

Te Gemara now considers the next part of Rav’s statement: And
is it correct that one may not establish an eiruv with unripe dates?B
Wasn’t it taught in a baraita: Heart of palm,B

the sof, edible inner

core of a palm tree, may be bought with second-tithe money;H

but

it does not contract the ritual impurity of foods,H

as it is not actu-

ally a food, but rather a part of the tree itself. And unripe dates may
be bought with
second-tithe money, and they even contract the
ritual impurity of foods.HN

Rabbi Yehuda says this somewhat diferently: Heart of palm is like
a tree in all its
legal aspects, except that it may be bought with
second-tithe money, as it is edible. And unripe dates are like fruit
in all regards,
as they are actual fruit, except with respect to one
characteristic, which is that they are exempt from tithesHN

because

they are not yet fully ripened.

Te Gemara answers: Tere, the baraita is referring to the fruit of
palms that never fully ripen. Tey are therefore regarded as full-
fedged fruit even in their unripe state. Rav, however, was referring
to the fruit of palms, which eventually ripen. Teir unripe state is
merely a transitional stage in their development.

Te Gemara asks: If so, would Rabbi Yehuda say with regard to
this
that they are exempt from tithes? Wasn’t it taught in a baraita
that Rabbi Yehuda said: Te unripe fgs of the place called Beit-
yoni
B
were only mentioned with regard to tithes, as it was stated:
In the case of the unripe fgs of Beityoni, and the unripe dates of
the place called Tuvina, one is obligated to tithe them even though
they never ripen, since they are considered full-fedged fruit in all
respects?

Rather, say as follows: Actually, the baraita is not referring to the
fruit of palms that never fully ripen, but rather to the fruit of palms
that eventually ripen. However, the halakha pertaining to the ritu-
al impurity of foods is diferent, and an item’s status as a food with
regard to the impurity of foods cannot be brought as proof of its
status as a food with regard to an eiruv. As Rabbi Yoĥanan said
elsewhere: Since they are ft to be sweetened through cooking
with fre, they are regarded as food for the purpose of tithes; here
too,
we can say: Since they are ft to be sweetened through cook-
ing with fre, unripe dates are ft to contract the impurity of foods.
However, with regard to an eiruv, we require food that is ready for
consumption, and something that can be prepared to become food
is not sufcient.

כדאָיְנַתָהְוכ?ןיִבְגָעְמכןיֵאכתויִנְ׳ַּ ַבו
כאֵּמַּטִמכןיֵאְוכ,גֵׂשֲעַמכחֶסֶ ְּבכףָּ יִנכגו
כתוףָּ ִנכתויִנְ׳ַ ְוכ.ןיִלָ ואכתַאְמוט
כתַאְמוטכתואְמַּטִמוכ,גֵׂשֲעַמכחֶסֶ ְּב

.םיִלָ וא

כץֵעָּ כאוהכיֵגֲהכגו כדגֵמואכהָ:והְיכיִּבַג
כחֶסֶ ְּבכףָ יִּנֶׁשכאָּלֶאכ,ויָגָבְּ:כלָ ְל
כיִגְּ׳ַּ כןֵהכיֵגֲהכ–כתויִנְ׳ַ ְוכ.גֵׂשֲעַמ
כןִמכתוגוטְּ׳ֶׁשכאָּלֶאכ,םֶהיֵגְבִּ:כלָ ְל

כ.גֵׂשֲעַּמַה
.יֵנָףְסיִנְ:ִּבכםָתָה

כהָ:והְיכיִּבַגכאָמיֵלכאָהְּבכ,יִ ָהכיִא
כגַמָאכדאָיְנַתָהְוכ?גֵׂשֲעַּמַהכןִמכתוגוטְּ׳
כיִנויְתיֵּבכיֵּרַּ׳כוגְּ ְזוהכאֹלכדהָ:והְיכיִּבַג
כיִנויְתיֵּבכיֵּרַּ׳כ;:ַבְלִּבכגֵׂשֲעַמכןַיְנִעְלכאָּלֶא
.גֵׂשֲעַמְּבכןיִביָיַףכאָניִבוטְ:כיִניִהָאְו

כןַיְנִעְלוכ,יֵנָףְסיִנְּבכואָלכםָלועְלכאָּלֶא
כיִּבַגכגַמָאְ:ִּ כ.יֵנאָׁשכןיִלָ ואכתַאְמוט
כיֵ:ְיכלַעכןָ ְּתַמְלכיואָגְוכליִאוהכדןָנָףוי
כןָ ְּתַמְלכלו ָיְוכליִאוהכדיִמַנכאָ ָהכ.גואָה

.גואָהכיֵ:ְיכלַע

Unripe dates [kafniyot] – תויִנְ׳ַּ : The word kayfniyot prob-

ably refers to the date fowers located on the panicle, which
is made up of thin, close-knit branches. While the plant is
young, they are juicy and edible. Typically, the male fowers
of the palm tree are eaten, since removing them does not
damage the date crop. It is possible that the term kafniyot
also includes the spathe, the leaf wrapped around the in-
forescence, which was occasionally ground and used for
making four.

Date inforescence wrapped in spathe

Flower panicle of the date

Heart of palm – גו : The heart of palm refers to the top of
the stem of the palm. The inner section of the trunk top is
white and tasty and is considered a delicacy. It was rarely
eaten because a date tree is ruined when its upper section
is cut of, as it can no longer renew itself. Consequently, only
the hearts of palm of trees that were slated to be chopped
down in any event were eaten. In talmudic times, heart of
palm was eaten both boiled and fried.

Beityoni – יִנויְתיֵּב: Beityoni refers to the settlement known
as Beit Hini, a small town a few kilometers from Jerusalem.

Beit Hini and surrounding region

BACKGROUND

Heart of palm may be bought with second-tithe money – גו כ
גֵׂשֲעַמכחֶסֶ ְּבכףָּ ְלִנ: Second-tithe money may be used to pur-
chase heart of palm (Rambam Sefer Zera’im, Hilkhot Ma’aser
Sheni
7:8).

Heart of palm does not contract ritual impurity – אֵּמַּטִמכוניֵא:

Heart of palm does not contract the ritual impurity of foods,
as stated in the mishna and the baraitot. However, if it was
boiled or fried, it does contract the ritual impurity of foods, in

accordance with the view of Rava (Rambam Sefer Tahara, Hilkhot
Tumat Okhalin
1:10).

Unripe dates with regard to ritual impurity – ןַיְנִעְלכתויִנְ׳ַּ כ
הַאְמוט: Unripe dates contract the ritual impurity of foods (Ram-
bam Sefer Tahara, Hilkhot Tumat Okhalin 1:13).

Unripe dates with regard to tithes – גֵׂשֲעַמכןַיְנִעְלכתויִנְ׳ַּ : Unripe
dates are exempt from tithes because they are not considered
full-grown fruit (Rambam Sefer Zera’im, Hilkhot Ma’aser Sheni 2:5).

HALAKHA

The impurity of foods – םיִלָ ואכתַאְמוט: The impurity of
foods refers to ritual impurity that can be contracted by food
items, which, in general, are more susceptible to impurity
than other substances. The defnition of food for these pur-
poses is a broad one. Still, anything that is unft for human
consumption or which people do not typically eat does not
contract impurity.

Obligation to tithe – גֵׂשֲעַמְּבכבויִף: The obligation to separate

tithes applies only to ripe produce. One who eats unripe pro-
duce, even if it is already ft for human consumption, is not obli-
gated to separate the tithes because it is considered casual eat-
ing rather than a set meal. The main obligation applies once the
produce has reached its completed state and, if possible, when
the entire crop has been harvested together. Consequently, un-
ripe fruit or small almonds are exempt from tithes, as one is obli-
gated to separate tithes only from produce in its completed state,
which requires no further work.

NOTES

Flower panicle of the date

Heart of palm – גו : Theheart of palm refers to the top of
the stem of the palm. The inner section of the trunk top is
white and tasty and is considered a delicacy. It was rarely
eaten because a date tree is ruined when its upper section
is cut of, as it can no longer renew itself. Consequently, only
the hearts of palm of trees that were slated to be chopped
down in any event were eaten. In talmudic times, heart of

Heart of palm may be bought with second-tithe money – גו

Second-tithe money may be used to pur-

Sefer Zera’im, Hilkhot Ma’aser

Heart of palm does not contract ritual impurity – אֵמַאֵמַאֵאֵּאֵמַאֵּאֵטִממַטִממַמַּמַטִממַּמַוניֵא:

Heart of palm does not contract the ritual impurity of foods,

baraitot. However, if it was

boiled or fried, it does contract the ritual impurity of foods, in

accordance with the view of Rava (Rambam Sefer Tahara, Hilkhot
Tumat Okhalin
1:10).

Unripe dateswith regard to ritual impurity – ןַיְנִעְלתויִנְ׳תויִנְ׳תויִנְַ ּ ּ
הַאְמוט: Unripe dates contract the ritual impurity of foods (Ram-
bam Sefer Tahara, Hilkhot Tumat Okhalin 1:13).

Unripe dates with regard to tithes – גֵׂשֲעַמןַיְנִעְלתויִנְ׳תויִנְ׳תויִנְַ ּ ּ: Unripe
dates are exempt from tithes because they are not considered
full-grown fruit (Rambam Sefer Zera’im, Hilkhot Ma’aser Sheni 2:5).

HALAKHA

תַאְמוט: The impurity of

foods refers to ritual impurity that can be contracted by food
items, which, in general, are more susceptible to impurity
than other substances. The defnition of food for these pur-
poses is a broad one. Still, anything that is unft for human
consumption or which people do not typically eat does not

tithes applies only to ripe produce. One who eats unripe pro-
duce, even if it is already ft for human consumption, is not obli-
gated to separate the tithes because it is considered casual eat-
ing rather than a set meal. The main obligation applies once the
produce has reached its completed state and, if possible, when
the entire crop has been harvested together. Consequently, un-
ripe fruit or small almonds are exempt from tithes, as one is obli-
gated to separate tithes only from produce in its completed state,

NOTES

Heart of palm may be bought with second-tithe money –
ֶסֶ ֶסֶ ֶסְֶּבכףָ ָ ָּ ְּלִנ ְלִנ : Second-tithe money may be used to pur
chase heart of palm (Rambam Sefer Zera’im

Heart of palm does not contract ritual impurity –

Heart of palm does not contract the ritual impurity of foods,
as stated in the mishna and the baraitot.
boiled or fried, it does contract the ritual impurity of foods, in

The impurity of foods – םיִלָ םיִלָ םיִלָואתַאְמוט

foods refers to ritual impurity that can be contracted by food
items, which, in general, are more susceptible to impurity
than other substances. The defnition of food for these pur
poses is a broad one. Still, anything that is unft for human
consumption or which people do not typically eat does not

Talmud isn’t just black & white

Side-by-side English-Aramaic translation
Color maps & photos of artifacts
Historical, scienti c & archeological background
Explanations of terminology & grammar

across

1. Junkie
5. where to find “Curb Your enthusiasm”
8. French jurist rene
14. More laborious
16. “...it’s ___ it’s superman”
17. Kibbutz worker
18. teapot features
19. not as much
20. alan dershowitz, e.g.
21. Motor City (abbr.)
22. Like still-wet cement
25. “Let’s Make a deal” host Monty
27. Ventilates, with “out”
28. socialist Zionist writer
31. al Jolson’s real first name
32. a Pa. airport code
33. “ ___ the ramparts...”
34. B’nai Brith ___
40. ___ Vegas (where Carolyn Goodman
is mayor)
41. israeli cable company
42. Marcel Marceau’s alter ego
44. 2008 adam sandler flick
49. high holy ___
50. Mad Magazine cartoonist drucker
51. exotic fruit
52. 2003 ed asner film
53. “You know i got rhymes like ___
Vigoda” (Beastie Boys line)

54. Bothers
56. Carefree and joyous
58. Overly preoccupies
62. do some lawn repair
63. woody allen’s instrument
64. Birthplace of democracy
65. Letter after chet
66. israel, to the U.s.

Down

1. Golden Gate City inst. of learning
2. dallas-based carrier (abbr.)
3. always
4. City on the road from Cairo to
damascus
5. absorption agy.
6. Jersey homesteads Mural painter
7. California’s historic Fort ___
8. ___ Garden (entry spot replaced by
ellis island)
9. abbr. on a doctor’s schedule
10. Lead-in for pitch or mo
11. Country with no significant rivers or
lakes
12. Monica Lewinsky, famously
13. Bird shelters
15. Campus letter
20. abbr. on a key
22. a, in argentina
23. sanhedrin president
24. Postmodernist scholar and new York
times contributor

26. soother
27. “V’imru ___”
29. where nina totenberg reports
30. “whoever slew auntie ___?” (1971
shelley winters movie)
35. Philanthropist taube and others
36. atlantic coast zone letters
37. Like some hypotheses
38. Follower of Marx?
39. actor schreiber (“defiance”)
43. Bible book, briefly
44. Jerome robbins specialty
45. Places in cement, say
46. “the Catcher was a spy” subject
Berg
47. eyeballer
48. efrem Zimbalist’s birthplace
49. “will & Grace” co-star Messing
53. “two owls and ___”: e. Lear
55. “___ alone because of thy hand”
(Jer. 15:17)
57. a caddie might hold it
58. sukkot mo., often
59. seth Meyers’s show, for short
60. “Unagi” at the sushi bar
61. digs for pigs

the solution for last week’s puzzle is on page 47.

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