Articles From August 2015


(Mr. Korn, chairman of the Philadelphia Religious Zionists, is former executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and the Miami Jewish Tribune.)

The newly-declassified emails of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton have unexpectedly revealed a key part of the Obama administration's strategy in dealing with Israel.
Among the Clinton emails released recently was a 2010 memo from the Obama administration's chief Middle East negotiator, Martin Indyk.
Friends of Israel have long harbored deep concerns about indications that Indyk was unfriendly to Israel. But this is one of the rare instances in which we can see, in Indyk's



Israeli Army officials reportedly are furious that New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has accused the IDF of massacring Arab civilians. But what else is new? After all, Friedman's entire career has been built on lying about Israel--including rewriting his own biography in order to smear the Jewish State.

In his August 12 column, Friedman wrote: "Israel plays, when it has to, by what I’ve called 'Hama rules' — war without mercy…it will not be deterred by the threat of civilian Arab casualties…" The Times of Israel notes that "While the term ['Hama Rules'] itself comes from Friedman’s book From Beirut to Jerusalem, in his new article he offered no history of the event or explanation for the comparison, apparently assuming the reader would understand the context."


Lost Opportunities- A Glimpse into the Hidden World of Social Anxiety Disorder


The following four brief anecdotes (based on true stories) concern people who might be your friend, neighbor, or even family member. The condition being described in these anecdotes may seem somewhat benign, but when you think about it, you will realize that this disorder can cause a person to get stuck in life and miss out on much of what life has to offer.

Reuven’s Fear of People of Authority

Reuven gets extremely anxious when interacting with people of authority. When he was younger, he avoided interacting with his teachers as much as possible. As an adult, he tries to avoid interacting with his superiors at work. When problems arise at work, he tries to deal with them on his own, which does not always lead to a successful outcome. He knows that he would be more appreciated at work if he would interact with his superiors. He realizes that his anxiety is irrational, but he nevertheless feels helpless in overcoming his sense of fear.

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Four Daily Moments


Some of the most effective actions you can take for improving your marriage are rather simple, and if you commit to doing them on a regular basis, you will transform the mundane aspects of your relationship into opportunities to connect.There are four critical moments of transition in the day that can be utilized to build a strong and lasting relationship: when you wake up, when you leave the house for work, when you return home from work, and when you go to bed. While this does not exempt you from connecting throughout the day, by fixing these four set connection times, it’s as if we’re connecting the whole day.These transition times are crucial. When you wake up in the morning, you set the tone for the rest of the day. By beginning with emotional connection first thing in the morning, you start your day off on the right foot and set yourself up for more positive experiences with your spouse.

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Slow Down!

alef bais

A young child singing himself to sleep at night to the letters of the alef bais is nachas to parents’ ears. A first- or second-grade child who is struggling to learn the letters and nekudos is a source of concern and worry. Why is it that some children find it more difficult to become fluent in kriah (Hebrew reading) than others?

Actually, the development of reading (and kriah) skills is a well-researched and understood topic. A simple understanding of the wondrous brain that Hashem created sheds tremendous light on the kriah process. Basically, beginning readers process written text with the frontal lobe of their brain. The frontal lobe is slow, analytical, and requires conscious effort. That is why beginning readers will often whisper what they are reading quietly to themselves before saying it out loud. As kriah skills are mastered, kriah processing moves to the occipital lobe in the rear of the brain. The occipital lobe processes written text instantly without conscious thought. This shift is what produces kriah fluency.

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Common Sense and Dollars


There are only two ways to balance one’s budget or, even better, to make it possible to add to one’s savings each month. They are: Increase your income or to cut your expenses.

Increasing Income

If you are paid by the hour you might be able to work more hours, and if you are in sales, you can work harder to increase your sales commissions and earnings. If you are salaried, however, unless you take an extra job, you will probably have to wait for a bonus or salary increase. And if you are retired, you are most likely on a fixed income. Should your expenses increase, you will be truly challenged in balancing the budget.

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When Life Gives You Lemonade…

lemonade stand

As an American citizen, I have to say I am grateful to the Food and Drug Administration for the efforts they make to ensure that the food we eat adheres to the highest level of safety. Although they exercise their authority in food venues and factories across the continental United States, they have not yet established their presence and authority over the local lemonade stands that one sees when driving around in the summer time. Let me just say, “Woe to the ignorant.”

You see, there are two kinds of people who buy lemonade: those who drink it and those who don’t. The people who actually drink it are either too young to understand the concept of hygiene, or simply have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. Let me tell you, as an experienced parent of lemonade sellers, you don’t really want to know. That’s why I’m going to tell you.

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Lev HaOlam The Business of Combating Boycotts


For 1,900 years, the Land of Israel sat desolate. As Mark Twain wrote in 1867, it was “a hopeless, dreary, and heartbroken land.” When the State of Israel was re-established in 1948, the Jewish People returned en mass for the first time since the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple 1,879 years earlier. Despite a massive invasion by seven Arab armies, the reborn Jewish State survived, nothing short of a modern miracle. Nineteen years later, in June 1967, Arab armies again mobilized to  destroy the Jewish State, and this time an even greater miracle occurred; with the help of Hashem, the IDF not only repelled the enemy but liberated Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount. The biblical heartland where Jews walked, lived, worked, and worshipped in ancient times was once again under Jewish control.

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Spiritual Poundage


Well, the unthinkable – though not the unexpected – happened. I have gained some weight.

The last time I started on a serious diet, in January 2013, I told myself that THIS IS IT! I will go through the dieting process one more time, and then maintain my weight, with possible small perturbations. And this is what happened for a while. I lost about 30 pounds on Medifast over the course of a year or so, and gained back only a few pounds, and this was my status until around May of this year. Then, all of a sudden, like a hurricane, I gained more weight, leaving me 15 pounds over the level at which I’d like to stabilize: a weight at which I felt good about myself, though still higher than my “ideal weight.”

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My Summer at Sinai Hospital

nursing assistant

When you are going into eleventh grade like I am, one of the first questions that people ask you is “What are your plans for after high school?” For a while now, I have been going back and forth between two medically-related professions: The first, a child life specialist, is a profession that specifically appealed to me because of the wonderful work they did for my sister during her many hospital stays. The other profession that I am interested in is nursing, which seems to be pretty popular in our community. Regardless, I wanted to experience what it would be like to work in a hospital setting, since that is crucial for both of these jobs.

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Baltimore’s Got Talent

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The first time I had the pleasure of hearing international violinist Yonatan Grinberg play was at a fiery June performance at a most unusual parlor meeting/concert at the home of Frank and Danielle Sarah Storch. The concert was for the benefit of Aliyos Shlomo, an advanced kollel located in Yerushalayim, whose rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Dovid Lipson, also happens to be an accomplished pianist and accompanied the string ensemble.

Yonatan is a member of The Chamber Encounters. Together with his wife, cellist Andrea Grinberg, and violist Sarah Lowenstein, their performances – aside from the exquisite music – engage the audience to share, in a personal manner, the Grinbergs’ interpretation and connection to the music, through discussion, demonstration, and other media.

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Ask the Shadchan


 I was going out for a few months with a girl whom I really liked. I was just biding my time and waiting to pop the question. To my great shock, I got a phone call from the shadchan, who told me that the girl did not want to continue dating. She did not tell me a specific reason but simply said that she feels I am not for her. She did not even have the courtesy to tell me herself but went through the shadchan!

I know I am not the first to be rejected, but that doesn’t help me feel better. At this point, about four months later, I just don’t have the energy to start all over again. I invested so much in the relationship, and told her things I had never told anyone before. I feel like I was punched in the stomach. The few times I’ve dated since this happened, I said no after the first date. I am afraid to go through this again. Any suggestions or ideas to help me get over this and move on?

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Preparing your Child for a Successful School Career

pre school

Imagine this: Today is the first day of your new job. It’s a 15-minute commute. Although you hadn’t planned it this way, last night you ended up going out with some friends and didn’t get back until the wee hours. Then you didn’t hear the alarm in the morning and woke up 10 minutes before you were supposed to leave. As you rush around to get dressed, you realize that your good suit needs cleaning, so you hurriedly search the closet for another one, along with a shirt to go with it. Realizing there is no time to eat the hearty breakfast you had planned, you grab a nutrition bar on the way out the door and drive off. Too late, you realize you left your lunch in the fridge. Although you race through traffic, you arrive at work 10 minutes late and in a frazzle from the morning’s experience. You think, “What a way to start a new job!”With this beginning, what are the chances that you will feel prepared to do your best work that day, and – and if this becomes a pattern – all the other days on this job? (What are the chances that you will still have this job down the road?)


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Chicken Soup for the Jewish Neshama

hot chicken soup

There’s a cute joke on the website, Harry Leichter’s Jewish Humor: “If Microsoft were Jewish, computer viruses could be cured with chicken soup.”What better way to introduce this iconic and venerated Jewish food, long hailed as the panacea for whatever ails us. It’s not clear who coined the term “Jewish penicillin” for chicken soup back in the last century, but the name has stuck. Many of us will be enjoying a steamy bowl of chicken soup, perhaps with kreplach or kneidlach, during the upcoming holidays. And of course, many enjoy this treat each and every Shabbos. It is satisfying and soul-warming – the quintessential Jewish comfort food. Moreover, it doesn’t take a million-dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to prove that chicken soup is indeed healthy.

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Three for Elul


As the month of Elul rapidly approaches, we all begin a period of introspection. True, this month is specially designated for teshuva, but in essence, teshuva is an ongoing process, 365 days per year. I find that Hashem sends us opportunities all year long, through mundane daily occurrences, to examine our deeds. Below are just a few such reminders that I had this year.

The Dentist

There are certain things that need to be done yet always seem to get pushed off. One of them is dental appointments. There’s something about going to the dentist that scares away even the bravest non-procrastinators. Well, next week, the Matskin family is going to do it! We are going to our yearly (rather, our should-be-yearly) dental check-ups. 

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Opening our Eyes and our Hearts

cute boy

One of the most precious dreams of girlhood is to be a mother and bring up a family together with a devoted husband. A girl may imagine welcoming her husband and son home after shul on Friday nights and staying at home on Shabbos mornings with her cute babies, while her husband and sons leave for shul together. But life does not always turn out as expected, and some women, although mothers, end up raising their children alone, either because of divorce or death. There are many problems and issues that have to be dealt with in this scenario, but one that is unique to religious families is the lack of a father to take the boys to shul for davening and learning.

An expectation in our society is that fathers and sons go to shul together and sit beside each other. A young boy going to shul alone and sitting by himself will feel awkward and different. And seeing all the other boys sitting with their fathers just accentuates his loss. This may be the case even when the father lives with his family but does not have the ability or desire to learn or daven with his son.

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