64.2 F
New York
Monday, June 5, 2023
Home Blog Page 3

The Future Is Now

A Look at the Robots Available Today and A Glimpse of the Robots of Tomorrow

Today’s market features an impressive variety of robots that are ready to help people with errands around the house, perform tasks in the workplace, and assist students in the classroom. 

In addition to home robots that can clean your house, there are educational robots that can help students with their homework and teach valuable learning skills. There are also pet, companion, and assistant robots made to entertain and to provide companionship.  

Even more remarkably, some innovative companies are developing hi-tech robots that will assist doctors and patients in hospitals, work with astronauts in space, and fight as soldiers on the battlefield! 

It seems all but inevitable that in the near future, anyone will be able purchase an inexpensive robot as their very own personal assistant. We thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the most remarkable robots available today, and to take a peek at some of the robots of tomorrow. 


Caption: Ubtech Robotics Walker 

Walker is a biped robot (walks on two feet) designed to deliver a home butler service and help with day-to-day operations in the home and workplace. Its capabilities include climbing stairs, serving drinks, and hanging up your clothes. Walker can also help with video calls and conferencing, and can serve as your own personal security patrol. 


Aeolus is a general-purpose consumer robot designed to assist around the house with daily chores. It is capable of picking up clutter around the house, delivering food, and finding lost objects. Aeolus also boasts Artificial Intelligence that helps it to learn about your life, your routine, and the layout of your home, so it can serve you even better.


Robots now have a variety of uses in healthcare, helping humans extend beyond what we can naturally and safely do ourselves. The use of these types of robots continues to develop rapidly in surgery and other areas of medicine, enabling health care providers to focus on engaging with and caring for patients.  

Robots in operating rooms and clinics are already becoming the norm, marking just one of many ways healthcare continues to push the boundaries of technology. 


Robear is a high-tech nursing care robot. It can of perform tasks such as lifting a patient from a bed into a wheelchair, and helping a patient who needs assistance to stand up. As its name suggests, Robear resembles a teddy bear.   


Romeo is a humanoid-sized robot that is designed and built to assist the elderly. It is able to open doors, to climb stairs and to reach for objects. In the future, this clever bot may enable the elderly to continue living independently in their own homes rather than being forced into moving to assisted living.  


Robots in Restaurants   

Many restaurant owners anticipate robots becoming mainstream in the very near future, performing tasks such as cleaning, food service, preparation, and hosting. 


Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ is Japan’s largest bank, and it employs robots. Nao is a bipedal android that speaks over 20 languages. It assists customers with opening accounts, money transfers, and ATM transactions. Nao provides services and tasks that human employees cannot, such as 24-hour service in multiple languages.  



Some conditions make it difficult, or impossible, for people to care for their pets. That’s where robotic animals come in. Robot pets are toys designed to imitate the characteristics, mannerisms, and appearance of real-life pets. Robot dogs and cats have become increasingly popular due to their ability to provide a quality substitute for people who are otherwise unable to care for a live animal. 

Robotic Dog 

Robotic Kitten  



Russia is developing a humanoid robot that will go into space by 2025. Roscosmos, a state corporation of the Russian Federation responsible for space flights and aerospace research, has presented a prototype of a humanlike robot of a new generation called “Teledroid.”   


Its main purpose is to check the dimensions for placement of the ship during transportation to the International Space Station (ISS). Ergonomic studies will be conducted on the robot when performing joint operations with astronauts. 

The robot will protect the station crew members and free up human forces to perform other tasks. The main responsibilities assigned to such robots will be solving problems on the surface of cosmic bodies: the moon, planets of the Solar System, and their satellites. 


The U.S. military will have more robot soldiers on the battlefield than human ones by 2025, suggesting that deadly combat robots are rapidly becoming a reality of modern-day warfare. 

The United States government has invested a great deal in researching and developing combat robotics systems, seeking to have a military edge over other countries such as China and Russia in the next 10-15 years, the United States has invested a great deal in researching and developing combat robotics systems. 




Get Happy – Summer Is Here



Do you feel happier in the summer?  Are you walking lighter?  Do you have less weight on your shoulders?   

I can answer a resounding YES to all three questions.  We all wear lighter-weight clothing in warmer weather, which literally lessens our load. 

It’s a joyful and empowering feeling to walk outside without layers of clothing – a hoodie, coat, scarf, hat, gloves, and boots.  It’s so much easier to run errands when less encumbered, and even go to a doctor or dentist appointment. 

What makes us happier in the summer? 

First, let’s define happiness. A simple definition of happiness is feeling or showing pleasure.  

Happiness is not a state of continuous euphoria.  It’s more of an overall sense of experiencing more positive emotions than negative ones. 

Perceptions of happiness differ from one individual to the next and happy people experience the entire gamut of human emotions at various times.  These emotions include anger, boredom, frustration, anxiety, fear, loneliness, and sadness.  However, even when confronted with distress, happy people maintain a core sense of optimism that things will improve. They take action to move towards overcoming their challenges to feel happy again. 

Next, let’s talk about the feel-good factor connected to the sun and warmer weather. 

What is it about sunshine that makes us feel happy? What is the science behind it? 

The scientific answer for why the sun boosts our mood is that there is a link between sunlight and our serotonin levels.   

Although too much exposure to the sun’s rays can be harmful to our skin, exposure to sunlight is believed to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin.  Serotonin is correlated with boosting one’s mood. 

Documented research shows that the warmer weather and summer sunlight in our part of the world can make us feel happier, more creative, and more focused.  That is because the brain produces more serotonin on sunny days than it does on darker days.  Serotonin is a mood-lifting chemical and is often called a natural antidepressant.  Many people develop seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in the dark days of winter, which causes symptoms of depression including moodiness, low energy, lack of interest in daily activities, and more.   


Now that you know that we naturally feel happier in the warmer weather, how are you going to leverage the feel-good factor this coming summer? 


Here are some suggestions: 


Identify your three favorite aspects of summer.  Is it the beach, having a lighter workload, or more free time with no carpools or children’s homework needs? 


Once you have decided what you love about summer, make sure to incorporate time for those activities in your calendar. 


Get outdoors. Carve out time to get outdoors in nature every day to enhance your physical and mental health.  Sunlight is a natural source for Vitamin D, which helps you fight various diseases.  Soak up some sun in limited doses.  People who spend time in the green outdoors are generally less anxious, less depressed, and have improved focus and creativity.   


Schedule an outdoor walk in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not too strong.  Start a walking group with like-minded individuals.  Or flex your green thumb.  Gardening can help you burn calories, relieve stress, and improve your diet by eating home-grown healthy veggies and getting back to nature and to your roots, literally! 


Get out of your comfort zone, explore, and experience. Are there activities you have dreamed about doing or places you would love to see?  The summer is an opportune time to try out a new sport, visit a new park, or shop for antiques upstate.  


How about kicking off a healthy new eating regimen?  What a perfect time to start off the day with a chilled vegetable or fruit smoothie!  Also, summer may afford you more time to cut the fruits and veggies.  


Play tourist and have an adventure.  Try ferry hopping. Enjoy the cool breeze, the beautiful views, and new sights.  


Dust off that bucket list and check off some of those items. Your bucket list goals need not be expensive or require extensive travel.   Have you always wanted to learn a new language or sleep in a tree house?  Or train for a marathon?  



Reconnect with friends and family.  Nurture your significant relationships.  Isn’t it easier to have dinner with friends or family when your children don’t have homework and you don’t need to carpool or travel in the snow?   


Indulge your inner child.  We are never too old to fly a kite, ride a carousel, or build a sandcastle.  


Nourish your spirit. Try something new to grow spiritually. How about committing to one new mitzvah or learning project for the summer?   


Wishing you a fun and healthy summer! 


Emotional Wellness

Rabbi David Sutton 


The Hebrew letters ס.ב.ל. form the root of several terms. One is סבלנות, which we generally translate as patience. Another is the term סובל צרות, which refers to a person who is tolerant of pain; the word סובל, therefore, means to tolerate. Finally, a סַבָּל is a porter, one who carries burdens. So, we have three English concepts – patience, tolerance of pain, and carrying a load - all with the same Hebrew root. What is the connection? 

Carrying the Load 

Rav Shlomo Wolbe (Alei Shur v. II, p. 214) explains that one who exercises patience in his dealings with others essentially carries a load, as he moves on without growing weary of bearing that burden. For example, in dealing with friends, siblings, spouses, or coworkers, factors may not always be according to our taste or in accordance with our nature. Even worse, others may tease or taunt us, or approach us with an unjustified complaint. Yet, rather than reacting or exploding, we can be sovel their behavior, we can carry the load. Additionally, one who tolerates physical or emotional pain, which comes about through the forces of nature and not via another human being, is also holding a burden.  He, too, continues to function despite being encumbered by hardship. 

Alternatively, if we explode in anger or kvetch about every ache and pain to all and sundry, we are dropping the load, thereby demonstrating our inability to carry the load of that difficulty.  

Psychological research demonstrates that individuals who can tolerate experiences of frustration or other “negative” emotions without an aggressive external reaction are rated considerably higher than others on a social/emotional level, and are more likely to succeed in their everyday relationships, as well as in their careers. 

Conversely, the boss who is constantly yelling and haranguing does not get more out of his employees (he just thinks he does). Rather, he creates an environment of fear in which workers adapt to their superior’s diatribes by hiding their mistakes or declining to take on projects that incur a risk of failure. Many have bought into the myth, much ingrained in our society, that letting out anger and frustration through hitting a punching bag or screaming in the forest helps expel these emotions. Factually, research into human behavior shows that, in the long run, these actions foster an increase in the frequency of these emotions. 

Of course, this does not mean we ignore our emotions. Indeed, we must recognize which feelings we are experiencing, including frustration, sadness, or disappointment, and allow those emotions to process in an adaptive and healthy way. This is achieved through expressing ourselves calmly, through acceptance, patience, tolerance, and awareness of our internal processes.

But there is more. 

The Alter of Kelm (Chochmah U’Mussar, v. I, p. 433) states, “How wonderful would it be if we would train ourselves in the trait of sevel (tolerance, patience, bearing the burden)! This is the source of all positive character traits, the source of menuchah (serenity), and the source of all good qualities.” 

In most cases, when we react in the wrong way, in actuality, we are reacting to an uncomfortable feeling that we cannot tolerate, causing us to drop the load. This can occur when another driver rudely cuts us off, when our child asks for still another drink at bedtime, when our spouse makes a thoughtless comment… It can be so difficult to carry that feeling that we may just fly into a rage. And at that moment, when we go ballistic, all our commendable character traits fly out the window, as we let loose on anyone and everyone unfortunate enough to be in our vicinity. 

Hence, the middah of savlanut is at the source of all good middot. 

In a letter to his son Rav Avraham, the Rambam discusses the downside of machloket, dispute. Rather than argue, he exhorts his son, “Pride yourself in tolerating; that is true strength and true victory!” 



Rav Wolbe advises, “Set aside 15 minutes a day to just tolerate, to just hold. Be patient with whatever the situation is.”  During that quarter of an hour, if something is not to your liking – or someone rankles you – don’t blow your top, but remain calm and composed. 


This exercise should not be performed during a quiet, private time, but specifically during a busy time of day, a time of interaction with others: e.g., mealtime, bedtime, homework, carpool, a phone call with a family member…Once you have mastered tolerance during one type of interaction, you can move on to another one. 


Each difficult interaction that is mastered constitutes true strength and victory! 

King For A Day

A Groundbreaking New Initiative to Allow Anyone to Dedicate a Synagogue Building


On a small side street, mere hundreds of feet away from one of the busiest intersections in Lakewood, lies a quiet little shul. As I turn into the parking lot, I am struck by the simplicity of the building. There are no large plaques with donors’ names, no fancy architecture, no stained-glass windows. One sees only the name of the shul written with simple metal lettering – “Kehilat Etz Hayim, according to the customs of Aram Soba” – as well as two small dedications by the front doors, and a large electronic billboard. 


An electronic billboard? On a shul?! What is going on? 


That is precisely what I came to find out. 


The Office That is a Kollel 


Nearly two decades ago, this area of Lakewood was not the bustling center of activity that it is today. There was just one small outpost, a new development by the name of Forest Park, which had just been built. Among the newcomers was Rabbi Eliyahu Tobal, a young man from Brooklyn, who had moved to Lakewood to study in kollel. Almost immediately, he recognized the need for a Syrian minyan. Always a man of action, before long he had a full-service shul up and running. 


From its humble beginnings in Steven and Trina Levy’s basement, Etz Hayim has traveled a long way. Now, over 20 years later, it is the center of a large and thriving community, in one of the most densely-populated Syrian sections of Lakewood. 


Rabbi Tobal, who assumes full responsibility for the shul and the community, and who came up with the idea of the billboard, is the man I am here to see. 


I enter the shul and ascend to the second floor, where Rabbi Tobal ushers me into a small office. As I enter, I do a double-take. The room looks nothing like an office. Besides for a small desk with a computer in the corner, the room seems more like a bet midrash. There are hundreds of books lining the walls, a whiteboard with Hebrew words all over it, and a table surrounded by chairs. 


Seeing my look of astonishment, Rabbi Tobal explains. “We have a kollel here every morning, before or after vatikin, depending on the season. We have a class with Rabbi Rahamim Shayo from Israel twice a week, via skype.” 


“Ah-ha!” I thought to myself. “So that’s what the computer is for!” 


Torah From 4am Till After Midnight 


“And that is not the only thing we do,” the rabbi proudly continues. “Besides the minyan at netz (sunrise), we have two other minyanim each morning. From shortly after 4am, there are people sitting in the bet midrash and learning. We have a kollel for an hour before the 7am minyan, and a full-day kollel run by Rabbi Michael Levy, in which we are training approximately 20 young men to be rabbis. We have two minyanim for mincha, and two or three for arvit. At night, the shul is bustling, with people learning past midnight. On an average day, hundreds of people enter this shul. 


“In addition, we are privileged to have Rabbi Ezra Zafrani, shelit”a, serve as the rabbi, mashpi’a, and da’at Torah of Etz Hayim. From the shul’s inception, the rabbi has counselled, advised, and guided us in all areas, and till today, he is the backbone of the entire congregation. Rabbi Zafrani carries with him many years of experience in hinuch, along with the perfect blend of wisdom, patience, discipline, and humility, and we are very fortunate to have the rabbi give inspiring and thought-provoking classes on Michtav Me’Eliyahu and Hovot Halevavot.  Furthermore, each morning and evening, we have a Gemara class, where we learn according to the ‘Kinyan Masechta’ system. We are well on our way to completing our fifth masechet. And that is even before we talk about everything that happens here on Shabbat and holidays. 


“Recently, we built a permanent tent in the back to accommodate events such as beritot and the like.” 


I am impressed. Who knew that there was so much going on here, far from the center of the community?  


But I cannot forget why I had come. 


“But what’s with the billboard?” I ask.  


“It’s an opportunity,” Rabbi Tobal explains.  


Everyone Can Dedicate a Building 


“One of the greatest things about our shul is the fact that it’s not just a place to pray. We are all one big family. So two years ago, I had an idea – instead of selling the dedication for the building to one individual, we would get everybody involved. What an honor and privilege it must be to sponsor all the Torah and prayers that take place in this building! We did not want that privilege to be taken by just one person, in one moment of generosity. Instead, we felt that everybody should have the chance to dedicate our building.  Each day, all the prayers, Torah study, and mitzvot which are done here can be yours. Anybody can be that day’s sponsor.  


“That is what the billboard is for. We have set the background to match the stone façade of the building, and each day, the building is dedicated anew. For one day, you can have the building named in your honor. Until now, dedicating buildings has been a privilege reserved for a few individuals. Today, we are giving everybody the chance.” 


“Has the idea been a success?” I ask with curiosity and intrigue. 


“It’s been incredible,” the rabbi replies. “Many have already jumped at this unique opportunity. A large portion of the dedications are in honor of a yahrtzeit. This is a very important day for the soul. Imagine how happy it must be to receive so many additional merits. It’s like sending your loved one a birthday present! People have also dedicated in honor of a friend, family member, or mentor, as a zechut (merit) for a shidduch or hatzlahah (success) , or just to thank Hashem for a kindness which He has done for them. 


“The feedback we have received has been amazing. Somebody who had been undergoing tests dedicated our building as a zechut for a refuah shelemah (complete recovery), and shortly afterward, the doctors told him that his problems had disappeared. Another man had an important meeting, which he was apprehensive about, but in the end, everything went unnaturally smoothly. We even had a family that pooled together to dedicate the day in honor of their mother’s birthday! They couldn’t believe how much she appreciated this unique gift.” 


“What a fascinating concept,” I exclaim. “I am quite impressed.”  


“Everyone is Invited” 


I then ask whether or not the billboard is reserved only for members of your shul. 


“No, anyone can dedicate,” the rabbi replies. “In fact, most days are dedicated by people unaffiliated with the shul who would like to seize this unique opportunity. We have had people visiting from abroad, from places like Mexico and Panama, who were so impressed with the special warmth of our shul that they felt compelled to get involved. 


“We are a community shul. Everyone is invited. We do not have a membership. We have people praying here from all walks of life, and from all backgrounds. Some people pray here only on Shabbat, and some only during the week. Some people come here from Brooklyn for the summer, and others only come occasionally, when visiting relatives. It does not matter. Even if somebody has not been here for months, this is still his home. He knows that he will be warmly greeted when he comes in.  


“And even if a person cannot join us in body, he can still be with us in spirit by ensuring our continued operation, thus taking part of everything that happens here. Actually, he then becomes the cause of everything which happens here.” 


I glance at my watch, and realize with a start that I am running late for my next appointment. I thank Rabbi Tobal for his patience, gather up my things, and leave the office encountering three other people who are waiting in the hallway for the rabbi. As I step into my car, I feel grateful for having had the privilege to meet somebody as special as Rabbi Tobal, and for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful mitzvah 


M&S Softball Captains Primed to Make Their Mark

Sam Sutton 


As the M&S Softball League celebrates its 15th anniversary, there’s no doubt that the future holds even greater excitement and achievements. With its strong foundation, commitment to multimedia integration, and dedication to community engagement, the League continues to inspire and bring joy to players and spectators alike. The M&S Softball League is a shining example of how sports can unite a community, foster healthy competition, and create memories that last a lifetime. 


Draft Preview 

As the highly-anticipated draft approaches, excitement fills the air as teams prepare to select the next generation of talented players. With the League’s reputation for fierce competition and the infusion of fresh talent, this year’s draft promises to shape the landscape of the league. Let’s look at this year’s captain crop, poised to make an impact and leave their mark on the league. 


Steven J Gindi 

Captain Steven J Gindi’s presence in the M&S Softball League is nothing short of exceptional. With his unmatched skills, leadership qualities, and winning mentality, he has established himself as a true force to be reckoned with. As he gears up for another season, Gindi’s commitment to defending his title and leaving a lasting impact on the league is undeniable. Spectators can expect thrilling performances and a display of unparalleled athleticism as Captain Steven J Gindi continues to dominate the M&S Softball League. 


TI and Sammy Esses 

In the realm of the M&S Softball League, TI and Sammy Esses represent a legacy of excellence and championship pedigree. As they prepare for the upcoming season, their quest to regain their championship ways is fueled by a hunger for success and a relentless pursuit of greatness. Their combined skills, leadership, and unwavering determination make them a force to be reckoned with, and opponents would be wise to brace themselves for the return of these formidable champions. 

Michael Sabon Salomon 

Michael Sabon Salomon’s Hall of Fame power hitting abilities make him a force to be reckoned with. His prodigious power, leadership qualities, and unmatched work ethic have the potential to elevate any team fortunate enough to play for him. This legendary power hitter is eager to put together an impactful lineup, yet Sabon has gone on record that he has a whole new strategy heading into 2023.  

Michael MC Cohen 

With Captain Michael MC Cohen leading the way, his team enters the draft with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. Cohen’s leadership, experience, and commitment to redemption will be instrumental in erasing the memories of last year’s debacle. As they strive for excellence and seek to reclaim their position among the League’s elite, Cohen’s return as captain brings renewed hope and a fresh start for his team. 


Gabe Abady 

With Gabe Abady as captain once again, the M&S Softball League can expect a winning combination of friendship, impactful players, and a humble star shortstop leading the way. Abady’s ability to balance these elements creates a positive team environment where everyone feels valued and motivated to succeed. As the new season unfolds, Abady’s leadership and exceptional skills will undoubtedly elevate his team’s performance and bring them closer to their championship aspirations. 


Ray Berry Esses 

Ray Berry Esses, a veteran leader and multi-time M&S Cup winner, embarks on a journey of redemption as he drafts a team of excellence in the M&S. His legacy of success and unwavering determination make him a respected figure within the League. With a keen eye for talent and a commitment to building a winning team, Esses will assemble a group that shares his championship aspirations. Together, they will strive for greatness, determined to recapture the championship glory lost in last year’s World Series. 


Yaakov Seruya 

Rookie captain Yaakov Seruya’s fire and passion for the game make him a captivating figure in the M&S Softball League. As one of the League’s premier sluggers, he brings an exceptional hitting prowess and unwavering love for the sport to his captaincy. With his infectious enthusiasm and determination to succeed, Seruya aims to invigorate his club and lead them to new heights. As the season unfolds, all eyes will be on Seruya as he leaves his mark as both a captain and a premier slugger in the League. 

Dear Jido – June 2023

Dear Jido, 

I have worked for the same company for 32 years, and I am ready to retire in a few months. 

They have no idea that I am contemplating retirement. 

What would be an acceptable length of notice to provide them? 

Is it just like getting a new job and providing the current employer the standard two or three week notice, or should I provide them more notice since it is a retirement? 

I should note that when others in the organization have hit the 25 and 30 year work anniversaries, there were parties, speeches, and gifts given. 

I suspect these same employees also received certain benefits I have not been given. 

However, when I hit my 25 and 30 year work anniversaries, there was nothing. No one in the organization acknowledged either. I said nothing, but it really hurt my feelings. 

I have received perfect performance reviews for the last ten years, so I know they are happy with my work. 

Do I owe them more than a two week notice?


Ready to Go

Dear Ready to Go, 

While it is customary to give two weeks’ notice when leaving a company, given the fact that you have been there for so many years, and as you indicated, this will come as a surprise, it is more proper to give at least three or four weeks’ notice. 

My thinking is that, even if there are others in the office doing the same or similar work as you, you’ve probably developed a lot of sub-systems and processes to address your particular responsibilities. It will take time to find a replacement, even in today’s job market, and then to train them in exactly what you know and how you do it. The last thing you would want to do is for the boss to think you left him with a problem.  

As far as that “25-year gold watch” that you didn’t get, perhaps they will make it up to you at your going away party. And if not, keep in mind that our hardest working forefather, Yaakov Avinu, didn’t exactly get the best parting gifts from his boss, either.  

Gratitude, or ingratitude, is a hard thing to deal with, especially when you’ve dedicated so many years helping others be successful. Perhaps that’s why our sages tell us, “He who hates gifts shall live.”  

Enjoy retirement, enjoy the family, and enjoy the feeling knowing that you’ve always done the right thing, even if it was not always rewarded.  

Don’t expect anything and then everything you DO get is a plus.  

See you on the beach! 


The Lighter Side – May 2023

A Good, Clean Lesson

Rabbi Epstein received a call from a wealthy businessman who was interested in exploring Judaism, but had many questions. He asked if Rabbi Epstein could pay him a visit at the office, which he obliged. 

The next day, Rabbi Epstein pulled up to an enormous manufacturing facility that produced soaps and other household cleaners. The company president, Aaron Miller, was there to greet him. 

“Thank you for coming, Rabbi,” Mr. Miller said. “Let’s go for a walk, shall we?” 

After some small talk Mr. Miller said, “Rabbi, please help me answer this question that I’ve been thinking about: what good is religion, really? Look at all the trouble and misery in the world! Even after thousands of years of religions teaching about goodness and truth and love and peace, there’s still war and deceit and so many terrible things. If Judaism is true, why should this be?”

Rabbi Epstein just stroked his beard in thought. 

They continued walking until he noticed a child playing in the gutter. Rabbi Epstein said, “Look at that child. You say that soap makes people clean, but see the dirt on that youngster. Of what good is soap? With all the soap in the world, over all these years, the child is still filthy. I wonder how effective soap is, after all!”

Mr. Miller, president of the soap company protested, “But Rabbi, soap can’t do any good unless it is used!”

“Exactly,” replied the rabbi. “Exactly.”

Mordy S.

A Three-Hour Tour

A passenger ship pushed off from the port in Haifa and traveled a route around the Mediterranean Sea. During the trip, one passenger noticed a bearded man on a small island who was shouting desperately and waiving his hands.

“Who is that?” the passenger asked the captain.

“I have no idea,” replied the captain, “but he seems like a strange fellow.”

“What makes you say that?” asked the passenger.

“Because every time we pass by this small island, he keeps yelling at us like a maniac!”

Eddie S.

An Apple a Day

Little Solomon was eating an apple in the back seat of the car, when he asked, “Daddy, why is my apple turning brown?”

“Because,” his father explained, “after you ate the skin off, the meat of the apple came into contact with the air, which caused it to oxidize, thus changing the molecular structure and turning it into a different color.”

There was a long silence. Then Solomon asked softly, “Daddy, are you talking to me?”

Debra K.

Leg Pain

Old Morty Mandelbaum went to the doctor complaining of a terrible pain in his leg.

“I am afraid it’s just old age,” replied the doctor, “there is nothing we can do about it.”

“That can’t be,” fumed old Morty, “You don’t know what you are doing.”

“How can you possibly know I am wrong?” countered the doctor.

“Well, it’s quite obvious,” the old man replied. “My other leg is fine, and it’s the exact same age!”

Lori T.

Returning to the Scene of the Crime

One night Claire stumbled into her local Brooklyn police station with a black eye. She claimed she heard a noise in her back yard and went to investigate. The next thing she knew, she was hit in the eye and knocked out cold.

An officer was sent to her house to investigate, and he returned two hours later with a black eye.

“Did you get hit by the same person?” his captain asked.

“No,” he replied. “I stepped on the same rake.”

Carol D.

Aches and Pains

At the Beth Israel Nursing Home in Boca Raton, Florida, a group of senior citizens were sitting around talking about their aches and pains. “My arms are so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee,” said Mr. Applebaum.

“I know what you mean. My cataracts are so bad I can’t even see my coffee,” replied Mr. Schiffman.

“I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck,” said Mr. Markowitz, to which several nodded weakly in agreement.

“My blood pressure pills make me dizzy,” Mr. Himmelfarb contributed.

“I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old,” winced Mr. Goldberg as he slowly shook his head. Then there was a short moment of silence.

“Well, it’s not that bad,” said Mr. Rosenbloom cheerfully. “Thank Gd we can all still drive.”

Rachel H.

A Mountain of Rugelach

Rabbi Eli ordered a box a rugelach from Isaac’s Bakery, which belonged to one of his congregants. That day he saw little Moishie, whose family owned Isaac’s Bakery.

“Am I going to see you later when I pick up my rugelach, Moishie?” asked Rabbi Eli.

“I’m so sorry, Rabbi, I don’t think so,” said Moishie, looking very concerned. “There was an accident in the bakery and all of the baked goods in the warehouse came crashing down. It’s like there’s a huge mountain of rugelach.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it, Moishie,” said Rabbi Eli trying to make him feel better. “I’m sure someone will clean it up. You know, I’m going for lunch now, why don’t you join me? My treat.”

“Oh, I don’t think my father’s going to like that,” said Moishie.

“I know your father well, Moishie. He won’t mind,” insisted Rabbi Eli.

After a pizza lunch Rabbi Eli said, “So Moishie, aren’t you glad you came?”

“My father’s not going to like it,” replied Moishie.

“Why are you so convinced your father is going to object to me taking you to lunch?” asked Rabbi Eli.

“Because he’s in the bakery – buried under that mountain of rugelach!”

Max E.

All Ears

Always self-conscious of his lack of ears, whenever Bob Smith would interview a future employee, he would ask him, “What do you notice different about me?” If the employee would mention his lack of ears (which often they did), it would be a for sure “no” for the job. However, if the employee would mention something else, he would hire the guy.

One year, at the annual business party, Bob approached Chaim Yankel, his most recent hire, and asked him if he remembered the last question he had asked him when interviewing him for the job. “Sure, I do,” replied Chaim Yankel. “You asked me what was different about you and I said that you were wearing contact lenses.”

“Of all things to answer,” Bob questioned curiously, “why was that the thing you noticed?”

“Well, to be honest, it was quite simple,” said Chaim Yankel. “How could you possibly be wearing glasses if you don’t have any ears?!”

Morris C.

New Archeological Findings Shed Light on Israel’s Ancient Past


A new documentary series, Secrets of the Land, was produced by Israeli award-winning documentary filmmaker Igal Hecht, and takes viewers on a virtual journey through some of the oldest excavation sites in the history of the world. The series explores the connection between science and history, specifically looking at stories from the Tanach.  


The area adjacent to the Kotel, with thousands of feet of subterranean space, is waiting to be rediscovered, and Hecht is keen on bringing to light the mysteries hidden therein. Archeologists recently uncovered an ancient market underneath the Kotel that is not yet open to the public. But,  Secrets of the Land will allow curious viewers to see what all the excitement is about, as they  view their first glimpse of this astounding discovery.  


“The market was massive,” said Hecht. “You can clearly see shops and paths for people to walk. To think that all of it was there two thousand years ago, and beyond, is mind boggling.” 


13 Episodes 


Each of the 13 episodes of Secrets of the Land, filmed over the last two years, takes viewers behind the scenes of substantial digs in Israel, and features some of the world’s top archeologists and historically significant archeological sites. “We were looking for the most interesting excavations in Israel. We wanted to present an accurate portrayal of history in the holy land, and document those [archeologists] who were leading the way,” Hecht said.  


In addition to on-site discoveries, Hecht visited the labs that crack the code of what is behind each artifact. 


New Technology Unlocks Ancient Secrets 


“One of the things that truly surprised me, and also helped change the direction of the series, was finding out about all the new forms of technology and science that were involved in modern day archeology,” Hecht said.  


“I realized that the way archeology is explored today is very modern and innovative. The excavations themselves might be low-tech, but everything that comes after, such as carbon dating and things along those lines, are very high-tech.” For example, Hecht learned that archeologists found grape seeds in 2,000-year-old donkey feces, and through that, they were able to determine the types of people that lived in the area. 


At one of sites where Hecht was filming, he was taken by a small, 2,000-year-old room, presumed to be part of a home during the time of the Second Temple. In it, Hecht saw several candle holders, and a set of stone stairs that had not been used in millennia.  


Hecht and his crew, which included Lior Cohen, Gabriel Volcovich, Nikki Greenspan, and Julian Hoffman, take viewers on a journey through various parts of Israel. At each step, Hecht is excitedly learning along with the audience.   


“I had very little knowledge [of archeology]. In fact, in the show, I don’t pretend that I do. That makes the show work. I am there experiencing the discoveries in the same manner that the audience does, as they watch at home,” he said. “The mixture of history and science that we feature in the series is extraordinary.”  


Sites Featured from North to South 


Among many sites, the crew visited Timna, the location of Solomon’s Mines, where Hecht was awed by the scenery: “The rock formation is something you’d see in Petra in Jordan or the Grand Canyon. There’s so much beauty and history to explore there.”  


Other locales included the Tower of David, “Migdal David,” also known as The Citadel, located near the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. One episode features Shiloh, in Samaria (the Shomron), where the Israelites prior to King David’s time set up a sanctuary and city, and where the Ark of the Covenant, the “Aron HaBrit,” was housed for hundreds of years.  


Also featured is Magdala, on the shores of the Kinneret, the Sea of Gailee, in the North. Magdala is home to an ancient city, where recent archeological excavations discovered the Migdal Synagogue, dating from the Second Temple, as well as 2,000-year-old mikvehs.  


Hecht’s Documentaries and His Passion 


Over the past quarter century, Hecht has been involved in the production of over fifty documentary films. Secrets of the Land is the latest in a string of Jewish-themed films, such as “Qassam,” about the residents of Sderot being attacked by Hamas rocket fire, and “Disengaging Democracy,” about the 2005 Gaza disengagement. An upcoming project includes “The Jewish Shadow,” a documentary film that explores the lives of Soviet Jews in 1970s Ukraine. 


“Israel and Jewish issues have been at the forefront of my work. I also deal with a variety of other issues and topics, but I keep coming back to what drives me,” Hecht said. “The simplest answer is that this is just what I am most passionate about. Israel is my home. I was born there. I am extremely passionate about it in every aspect possible. It holds a massive place in my life and therefore my career. My Judaism derived from that. The two are forever intertwined for me and into my work.” 


Secrets of the Land was not merely another project for Hecht. It was driven by his passion to help the Jewish people defend their rightful claim to Israel as their homeland.  


“I think the biggest takeaway for Jewish audiences is the historical and unbreakable connection of the Jewish people to Israel, Judea and Samaria, to Jerusalem, to the Galilee, and so on,” he said. “[The series shows] that archeology truly proves that the Jews were, in fact, living in Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem, and all over the Fertile Crescent, thousands of years ago.” 


“These are not only places and words in the Torah. Archeology and science help explain who was there years ago, and why this land is so important.” 

Riddles – May 2023

Riddle: Pet Peeve

Submitted by:  Sally T.

A pet shop owner had a parrot with a sign on its cage that said, “Parrot repeats everything it hears.” Davey bought the parrot and for two weeks he spoke to it and it didn’t say a word. He returned the parrot but the shopkeeper said he never lied about the parrot. How can this be?


Last Month’s Riddle: What Am I?

Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?

Solution: The number 8.  On its side, it looks like an infinity sign. Cut in half, it looks like two zeros.

Solved By: Daniel Ovadia, Big Mike, Madeline Gabbai, Basya Zee, Ronnie Betesh, The Blum Family, The Swed Family, Morris Kabani, and Eli Nuseiri.


Junior Riddle: Strange Subtraction

Submitted by:  Irwin F.

How can you take 2 from 5 and be left with 4?



Last Month’s Junior Riddle: Word Trivia

What is unusual about the following words: revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven?


Solution: If you take the first letter of each word and place it at the end, it’ll spell the same word backwards.


Solved By: Big Mike, Madeline Gabbai, Raymond Dabbah, The Blum Family, Mayer Chemtob, Barbara Chehebar, The Big Cheese, and The Shmulster.

Mabrouk – May 2023

Births – Baby Boy 

Joe & Jennifer Adjmi 


Births – Baby Girl 

Jesse & Joyce Antebi 

Yoni & Jaime Himy  

Moses & Cherie Hidary 




Moshe Rachamim Zafrani to Dina Schweky 

Edmond Antebi to Mimi Sasson 

Victor Terzi to Marcelle Cohen 

David Tawil to Samantha Chabot 

Shaya Chabot to Audrey Sutton 

Simon Massry to Jeanne Hakim 

Yosef Mizrahi to Esther Jemal 




Haim Abadi to Laurie Mosseri 

Joey Alelo to Daniella Azar 

Sholom Dubin to Arlene Hazan 

Isaac Ayal to Charlize Assoulin 

Alex Dweck to Roberta Dweck