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Friday, June 23

Torah Way North London - Purim Update

by Jonathan Stern

Listeners to the Torah Way North London programme on Kol Haloshon, as well as the regular visitors to the Biala Shtiebel in Castlewood Road in South Tottenham were treated to an extraordinary discourse on Emunoh, Bitochon and Divine Intervention (lit. Hashgocho Protis).

The speaker was octogenarian Rabbi Yitzchok Wiesenfeld, acting Rabbi and spiritual leader to the New Shul's Minyan at the Victoria Community Centre in Egerton Road.

Spiced with sayings of our sages from previous generations and punctuated with his own insights, he skilfully wove a chain through the Parshyios relating our Egyptian stay and subsequent sojourn in the wilderness.

Regular fans will notice the growing number of recorded Shiurim on the Kol HaLoshon system, which has now reached over thirty. These include sessions on Sundays and Thursdays, mostly delivered by local Rabbonim on a one-off basis.

Rabbi Yaakov Mordechai Gee will deliver the coming Sunday's drosho (05/03/2006), followed by Rabbi Yechiel Fogel on the Sunday after (12/03/2006).

A new system is G-D willing now being introduced whereby there will be a regular speaker on Thursdays, every three to four weeks. Each contributor will focus on a particular area in the vast expanses of Torah: the weekly Parsha, History, Hashkofo etc. - all with the aim to enrich the lives of our ba'aley battim and enhance their day in a Torah-dige fashion.

We now have the privilege of introducing some of the regular Maggidey Shiur for alternating Thursdays: Rabbi Mordechai Fine, Rabbi Gavriel Menashe Lamm, Rabbi Yechiel Fogel and Rabbi Yerachmiel Tzvi Halpert.

The beauty of Torah Way is that it becomes contagious; people tell their friends, who relate their new-found experience to family, who in turn make sure to bring along yet another newcomer-friend. Indeed - regulars are being reminded to be generous, to share the joy and spread the word about the wonderful, uplifting words of wisdom they acquire in these short sessions with long ranging effect.

A special guest speaker is planned for Purim day - start it the Torah Way. Watch out for more details on the Shul noticeboards and in the news.

As has been previously reported, Yiddish-speaking listeners have not been left out - tune in on Kol HaLoshon and dial extension 3111 to hear the legendary Rabbi Hershel Eckstein every Thursday evening between 20:20 to 23:05 on the Mekadhsey Shevi'i channel.

Torah Way , the daily morning Shiur started two years ago in North Manchester and now operates in North and North West London.

We are now in the process of publishing a Torah Way Diary, an A4 flyer listing forthcoming Shiurim until Erev Rosh HaShana. For further details, call Menasche Scharf on 07974 160 252.

Communicated:
1 Adar 5766 (27/03/2006)

Calculu Business and Training Centre: English Courses

London, 24/05/2005

Calculu Business and Training Centre Launches Summer Term English Courses
Overwhelming response forces new classes to be opened immediately,
places are being snapped up

By Menasche Scharf

The first class in the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
has taken off with a bang! Young Kollel Men sat in a class together
with budding entrepeneurs - eager to get their English brushed up. Mr
Lawrence, rector of Courses at the London Essex College delivered the
debut lesson to students from Israel, Belgium and London, which turned
out to be a great success. Mr Menasche Scharf - Founding Director of
Calculu Business and Training Centre, commented on the positive
approach taken by all involved: staff at the Brenner Community Centre
where extremely forthcoming and we look forward to increasing the
number of classes and to broaden the range and scope of courses to
accommodate the growing public interest.

Subjects that are requested by would-be students range from basic
Typing and Bookkeeping to Advanced Graphic Design and CAD (=Computer
Aided Design) for Architecture and Manufacturing.

So far, over one hundred applications have been accepted, which is
clear indication of the crying need for an organisation such as
Calculu Business and Training Centre.

Pricing has been kept at an extremely affordable level, to enable
applicants on low-income to attend. Private lessons for in-house
delivery for commercial outfits are now planned, to minimise on loss
of working time. This is in direct response from many interested
parties.

Notes to Editors:
About Calculu Business and Training Centre
Calculu Business and Training Centre is the first commercial training
provider for the 'Heimishe' (Ultra-Orthodox / Charedi) Community in
North London. Having used its links within banking and industry, it
succeeded in igniting a mini-revolution in the local sphere of
business and commerce; would be business people have so far struggled
with setting up, running or accessing finance for business. The road
map set out by Calculu Business and Training Centre is designed to
change all that.
About the name "Calculu":
Calculu is derived from a play of words, combining the Latin word
Calculus with the trasliteration of the Hebrew word Calcoloh, meaning
'sustenance'. Calculu Business and Training Center has set as its
goal the provision training to enable disadvantaged people to gain
employment.

Contact details: For additional information call 08456980044.

A first in North London: Torah Way programme launched!


By Jonathan Stern

This Sunday morning something new happened in North London: twenty five particpants met to hear a Drosho in English on How to Prepare for Rosh Hashana. This novel idea, which is actually based on the Start Your Day the Torah Way programme in North Manchester is a morning Shiur given by Rabbonim and others to enhance the busy worker's life before setting out to his business day.
Judging by the audience, one could discern the crying need for such a Shiur, as people from all ages and all walks of life were in attendance. Rabbi Zvi Eckstein (see picture) a Maggid Shiur in the Belz Beis HaMedrash on Clapton Common, expounded on he idea of being besimcho and utilising the rare opportunity given to us in Chodesh Ellul to prepare for the coming new year. Spiced with personal anectodes and tales of Tzadikim, the ideas came across with a unique shine and sparkle as the receptive audience sat spellbound for bearly 45 minutes.
It is hoped that next week's Shiur, on how to set a goal in Ellul, to be given by Rabbi Meir Rothfeld at the Biala Beis HaMedrash - 110 Castlewood Road, were plenty parking space is available - will likewise succeed in enthralling the assembled and thereby establishing a pattern of Torah Learning the Torah Way in North London.
This week's Shiur is available on Kol HaLoshon and next week's Shiur will also be available Live on 1503AM from 9:20am to 10:00am.
Posters are printed in full colour, with a theme depicting the current Parsah or Yom Tov and a novel idea is the constant face-changes showing a new Rabbi every week.
The programme was made possible by the generous cooperation of Torah Way founder and dynamo Mr Menachem Dovid Salzman of Manchester, who went out of his way to ensure the success of this launch.
This week's sponsor was Calculu Business & Training Centre

In Touch with Down Sindrome

When I first met up with Mrs H.  to discuss the possibility of interviewing her regarding her grandchild with Downs syndrome her immediate reaction was, "oh what fun!"  I was immediately struck by her very positive frame of mind which has obviously made an impact on the entire family. 
Mrs H.  has many grandchildren kein ayen hora and she shared with me her appreciation for every healthy grandchild that was born to her.  "Prior to the birth of this granddaughter, whenever I had an grandchild", she confided, I used to say Baruch Hashem it's not Downs.

K.H.: Has your attitude to Downs Syndrome changed since your granddaughter was born?
Mrs H.: "Definitely, first of all they're all sisters to my granddaughter; they all look alike.  Secondly I now view them as little 'mentchen' who have a lot to contribute.  I talk to them as such, with respect.  I do not baby them or regard them as second-class citizens.  I have a language with them.

K.H.: How did you find out her condition?
Mrs H.: My son in law could not tell me over the phone.  He phoned me from the hospital to tell me that my daughter had just given birth to a girl.  Then my daughter phoned and said "I think it's downs." 
"What did you say? I Dropped everything and ran to the hospital."

K.H.: You probably had to deal with your own emotions as well?
Mrs H.: All my thoughts went out to my daughter.  I cared only for her and did not think at all about myself.
K.H.: What did you do to help your daughter?
Mrs H.: I stayed with her for twelve hours straight and did not leave her.  She was in a terrible state.  I was very positive about it and kept saying she's ours we'll love her.  We'll keep her, I kissed the baby over and over again showing my daughter that I accepted the baby the way she was.
She looked like the other children in the family so I said she hasn't come to the wrong address because she even resembles the others.  The siblings all love their sister.
I said, "at least we have where to send her, we have Side by Side."  That helped a lot.

K.H.: What did people do to help your daughter?
Mrs H.: Nothing at all.  There was nothing people could do.  She couldn't go to Beis Brocho because she did not want to meet other people, she only wanted to be with or talk to people in the same situation.
Even her sisters didn't know what to say and do.  Later on they helped physically by looking after the other children.
When the baby's condition was confirmed at the hospital the midwife said it's only a social problem.  That remark helped a lot because it's so true.  It's the way people react that makes it hard - our attitude is all wrong. 
My son in law's reaction helped a lot.  Even though he does not usually love new born babies he made every effort to love this one.  He went out of his way to demonstrate his love and acceptance for this helpless new born and therefore bonded extremely well even more than with the others.  That helped my daughter a lot and the entire family.  He's not ashamed of his daughter and takes her out with him whenever possible.
On that first day on the way going home from hospital min hashamayim I met a mother of a child with downs syndrome.  That woman who I know very well was a life saver.  She gave my daughter so much emotional support because she was in the very same situation and she truly understood.

K.H.: What advice would would you give to other grandmothers of a child with Downs syndrome?
Mrs H.: Love the child, show him how much you love and accept him.
Love the baby in front of the mother.  Accept him as he is, bond with him and keep in touch.  Try to find out every new development. 
The mother should be able to depend on you for love and encouragement.
Take nothing for granted, everything is a simcha, every word, every chochma.  Her first step for instance took so long but the reward was so great.

K.H.: You seem to have an extremely positive attitude; what do you think contributed towards that?
Mrs H.: I was not a spoilt child.  I grew up during the war and to me normal family life is a luxury I never had as a small girl.

K.H.: In which way have your lives changed because of your granddaughter?
Mrs H.: My grandchildren are more sensitive and understanding to others and especially to those with special needs.  They appreciate them and realise that they have so much to offer.

K.H.: What can people do to help a person in this situation?
Mrs H.: Just be normal, wish mazal tov come to the simcha.  Say hello to the mother.  Don't ignore her.  Don't cross over to the other side of the street as was sometimes the case with my daughter.

K.H.: I remember not being sure whether to give you mazal tov.  You taught us how to behave.
Mrs H.: Yes, my message was "don't I get a mazal tov?" I had a grandchild, don't nebech us.
Don't say nebech when hearing this news.  Nobody wants to be pitied.

K.H.: Do you have an amusing experience to share with us?
Mrs H.: The Children were sitting round their sister with mummy who was becoming increasingly frustrated because she had been putting in so much efforts into this child.  There seemed to be absolutely no reaction.  My daughter said to the child "look how much we're doing for you, look how much time I'm spending with you and what do you do for us - nothing!" My granddaughter was about two and a half years old at the time.  She looked her mummy straight in the eye and said her first word "MUMMY."
Oh, how all the children cheered and obviously my daughter rang straightaway to share the good news with me.

K.H.: How did you help your grandchildren come to terms with the new born baby's condition?
Mrs H.: I explained the baby's condition to the bigger ones.  They all took it well and immediately said they would love her.  I did not say it was a tragedy because by Hashem there are no mistakes.
I was very positive about the baby and spoke about loving her and helping mummy.

K.H.: That must have had a very positive effect on the grandchildren.  Perhaps it was because of your influence that they took it so well.

Any particular message you would like to give our readers?
Mrs H.: Hashem makes no mistakes, we just need a lot of physical and emotional efforts to cope. 
We did not choose this baby.  Hashem chose my daughter and son in law to take care of her and believe me, lucky baby she couldn't have found a better address.

The Korban Nesanel

This year (5766/2006), as in the past couple of years, the pilgrimage to the resting place of Rabbi Nathanael Weil (picture attached: Rabiner_netanel_weill.gif) in Karlsruhe, Germany took place on the occasion of his Yahrzeit, 15th Iyar. As this year's anniversary fell on Shabbos, it was postponed to Sunday 14th May.

For the first time in many years, there was a minyan at the grave, composed of visitors from Antwerp Belgium, London, England and also some local people.

The Korban Nesanel, as this highly esteemed Rabbinic authority is called lived in Karlsruhe and was buried there. However his soul departed in neighbouring Rastatt, reportedly on the eve of the holy Sabbath. It has been recounted that whilst the Jewish community of Rastatt were adamant that the Holy Rabbi should be laid to rest in their Cemetery, the Jewish community in Karlsruhe insisted that his wish was to be buried in his hometown. By the time the Karlsruhe community succeeded in convincing their Rastatt counterparts to honour the deceased Rabbis wishes, it was already Friday afternoon, nearing candle-lighting time. As much as the hearse hurriedly proceeded along the Rastatt-Karlsruhe road, they couldn't fathom how they would manage to respectfully carry out the burial of their beloved leader before sunset. Lo and behold, the sun literally waited until the last respect was paid and the mourners started for their homes to light the Sabbath candles. This episode is alluded to in the engraving on the tombstone (picture attached: KARLSRUHE MAY 06 006.jpg), which has withstood the ravages of Napoleonic, Prussian and European wars for nearly three centuries.

With regards to the exact date and time of Rabbi's Weil's 'petira', Mr David Seldner contends that there are differences between the local council's version and the universally accepted version. The date on the Korban Netanel's tombstone is 7.5.1769, which was on a Sunday (30 Nisan 5529, Erev Rosh Chodesh Iyar). However, according to Jewish sources, he was niftar 15 Iyar 5529, which was the 22 May 1769 and was on a Monday. To compound matters further, it is a well-known historical fact that Erev Shabbos was the day he was niftar. In fact, the levaya was attended by many gentiles, who regarded him as their 'wunder-rabiner'.

In the late 1800's, the local municipality won a decades-long legal wrangle with the local Jewish community, regarding the relocation of the Jewish cemetery on Mendelssohn Platz, to make way for a new tenement complex. The last funeral there was in 1826 and the remains were transferred en masse in 1898, to the cemetery in the Kriegsstrasse (which was closed in 1896) and also to the now still used cemetery in the Haid-und-Neustrasse. This is when the remains of the holy Korban Nesanel, together with many hundreds of Kevorim were transferred to their current resting place. Rabbis from the local provinces, together with some French Rabbonim were involved in the transfer, to ensure all was done according to Halocho.

About Jewish Karlsruhe:
According to Mr Seldner, head of the Jewish Community, there were two synagogues and one Hassidic shtiebel – the first of its kind in the whole of Germany - before the 2nd
World War, all were destroyed during this infamous period.

As a sign of the rejuvenation of the Kehilla, a new purpose-built Shul was built in 1971, in the shape of the Mogen Dovid - Star of David. It is well attended by some 30 people on a regular Shabbos and about 300 worshippers flock there on the high holidays.

The Yahrzeit of the Korban Nesanel:
Traditionally, Jews from surrounding cities - as far away as Zurich in Switzerland and nearby Strasbourg, France - used to frequent his burial place to spend time praying for salvation, for health and other requests.

Since Reb Dovid Scharf (1937-2015), a Belz Chossid from Antwerp, Belgium started visiting the grave, improvements became noticeable.  This year, the assembled numbered over twenty people, a marked improvement on previous years.

Moshe Cheyoun, the local Chazan, Mr Dovid Scharf of Antwerp and Mr David Seldner of Karlsruhe
In what could be termed as a positive development, this event cemented the beginning of a link between several Jewish communities throughout Europe. All participants were unified in the aim to further the dissemination of Jewish values and enhancing the life of a fellow Jew.

It is to be hoped that the merit of this great sage, who has guided so many generations with his prolific Halachic writings, will effect salvation and blessings on the Jewish people and especially those who took the trouble of praying at his resting place.

See also: http://rietjevanvliet.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/karlsruhe/

There are many descendants of this famous Torah personality living around the globe, who might be interested to know more about visiting the Kever.
To make initial contact:
Menasche Scharf
LONDON
M: +44 (0)7974 160 252
e: menasche.scharf@gmail.com.

For more information about future trips to Karlsruhe, contact:
Mr David Seldner
T: +49(0)721/72035

Two wailing children - two worlds apart.

I was trying to orientate myself in the crowded central train station of Stuttgart. There I was after arriving on a flight from London's Stanstead airport, on my way to meet my father at on of Karlsruhe's Jewish cemeteries.

Across the bench was this mother with a little daughter, maybe 3 years old, who was waiting for the same train as me. It so happened that when we boarded the train, they chose to occupy the seats across the aisle, a fact that made me more at ease, not having to endure the stares and the renewed feelings felt as an ultra-orthodox Jew in a pure Arian environment.

Soon the last shrill sound of the conductor was heard, at which point the little girl realised that her favourite Winnie the Poo, with a little zipper on his back was missing his baby teddy bear. She started becoming agitated, so her mother warned her to stay put whilst she was going to check it out on the platform. As the doors were already closing, there wasn't much she could do but to wait until the train started moving. When she returned to the child, her look betrayed the reality of the situation, at which point a huge hue and cry ensued, lasting a couple of minutes. I offered some of my home-baked biscuits, which served to divert her attention for a fleeting moment. Her mother was waiting for this opportunity and quickly presented her daughter with a treat: she will read to her from the animal story book.

That afternoon, the local workers union held a remembrance event for the Jewish children who were deported during the Nazi regime to Auschwitz via the Gurs detention camp. Special emphasis was placed on the fact that there was an overt partnership between the wehrmacht and the then Reichsbahn - without which the Nazis wouldn't have been able to carry out their devious plans.

Mr Jürgen Ziegler, chairman of the Retailers' Union of Baden related the following chilling story:
I was about 10 or 11 at the time, when strolling across the platform in the Karlsruhe train station I was called over by a little girl leaning out the window of a train. Her request: please take this coin and bring some drinking water for me and my crying brother. There were adults on the platform; still she chose me as the others were too preoccupied with some very serious business: they were saying goodbye to their children, wondering if they will ever see them again. Guarding the little kids was a couple of German ss'ers, one of whom happened to witness the exchange. He slapped the girls hand and ordered me not to return and to keep the money for myself. As I was retreating, I saw a man - most probably the father of the unfortunate children - fall on his knees in front of the devil and beg him "gnade, gnade" (lit. have mercy). The soldier lifted his pistol, shot the man in the head and ordered bystanders to chuck the lifeless corpse onto the train full of little children. The train's destination: the Gurs detention camp. From there the final stop was the infamous extermination camp Auschwitz. Out of over a hundred children, a minute number survived, only to return to a Karlsruhe devoid of their parents, their friends, devoid of the whole Jewish community."

The assembled, many of them in their late seventies, were by now wiping away tears. I sat there and wondered: if only these people would get up and share their experiences! What role did they play in the scenario that was just recounted, how did they behave in those dark times?

On my way back to London, it struck me how two seemingly unrelated cries of two children, one which I witnessed on the train and the other which was recounted on the same day - the contrast, the anguish, and the helplessness. Human brains would have to grow at least a couple of billion neurons to start comprehending the enormity of this paradox.

The event was well attended, during which Rev. Moshe Hayoun; the local Chazzan recited Tehilim and translated into German for visitors from amongst the local population and who was introduced by the head of the Jewish Community Mr David Seldner.
In what could be termed as a positive development, this event cemented the beginning of a link between several Jewish communities throughout Europe. All participants were unified in the aim to further the dissemination of Jewish values and enhancing the life of a fellow Jew.

For this occasion, I presented a special souvenir to the Karlsruhe Jewish Community: The Gurs Haggadda, which contains a facsimile of the hand-written Haggadda, by an inmate in the Gurs detention camp, southern France, which was then under the Vichy government's area of jurisdiction. Anyone familiar with the Karlsruhe community will know that over one hundred children were deported to this camp, from where they were subsequently sent on the death-trains to Auschwitz.

Spotlight on Children of working mothers.

Hi out there! If you are a family whose mother works outside the home then this article is just for you....
The adult Mishpacha dedicated many articles speaking to working women fnding out how they were coping. We at Mishpacha Junior felt Hey what about the kids? Let them have their say. I therefore interviewed and chatted to many children whose mothers are currently working and I must say I was pleasantly surprised to see how positive and upbeat those children felt. It was a most wonderful experience - you see I myself am a working mother and I got to interview my own kids too. It was lovely to find out that they did not feel disadvantaged in the least.
Take for instance Mascha Aksler. Talking to her was really uplifting. She feels that because her mother is a working mum her house is more organised and life for her follows a very predictable pattern on Friday and knows exactly what to buy since its the same every week. On special occassions she even gets to choose the flowers which she loves doing.
Mascha shared with me that she actually feels that her parents both give the family more quality time. when I asked her to explain she told me the following. “Most mothers are with their children the whole day so they don’t feel its necessary to dedicate time only to be together. My mother, because she’s out at work alot makes a point of taking us out so that we can enjoy each other’s company properly.”
ide. She must always remember to replacethe keys for the next time. She explained that it was not pleasant to disturb the neighbours since her mother was
Most of the children felt that because they had a working mother there were certain advantages they had. Esther for instance whose mother is a teacher says that her mother can help her with her homework such as school projects and writing assignments. Others had free access to interesting trinkets, novelties or souvenirs etc which they could share with their classmates when the need arose ie for a school party or Siyum.
Mascha’s sister Esty claims that she is fortunate to have a sister close in age. Therefore even when their mother
Miriam claims that because her mother works she is much more independent then her friends whose mothers are home all day. From the early age of twelve she was already cooking and baking in order to help out. She loves it and the family actually depends on he
Shopping was a problem for children of working mothers. There was hardly any time for relaxing choosing with their mothers. It was either done in a great rush without comparing what other stores had in stock. or they just had to buy it themselves and ask if they could exchange things if their mother wasn’t happy with what they had chosen. That never happens says Rifky because my mother hardly has time to fuss over the clothes that I wear. Sometimes she gets to see my new things properly on shabbos and by then its obviously to late to change her mind.
Although all the children interviewed felt that when their mothers returned from wo
Leah’s mother sometimes returns home from work so exhausted that she hasto lie down before she can chat with the children or prepare supper. I asked her if that disturbed her greatly. She said “not really its just that the atmosphere is so much nicer having my mother around chatting to us.”
Surie said that on very rare occassions when things had gone wrong at the office her mother would return with a headache. She then makes sure to keep the younger kids quiet. That’s hard she said because the atmosphere is
I interviewed several boys too. They did not seem to see what all the fuss was about. Zalmy, my son actually told me that it was good to have his mother working because I had no time to chat on the phone besides which it made him feel more secure to know that there was a supplement to the income.
When I finished interviewing him he said “okay mummy whats there to eat I’m hungry?!”
Well he had to fend for himself because his mother was busy typing... That actually summed it all up.
Most of the children interviewed, although they really didn’t mind having a mother who works all had this issue with food. Some wished that there was more home made goodies. At recess they envied their frien
All In all the advantages of having a mother that works far out weighed the disadvantages.
( Phew... sigh of relief)
Whilst I worked on this article the children had to take supper and go to bed on their own. (A little encouragement from Daddy) The baby was kvetching and had to be held by big brother. Big brother didn’t mind in the least just that he made the baby do the most hair raising aerobics it’ll take him a while to recover...The house is quiet now and at least I know that thousands of children have had something enjoyable to read.
Good Night just continue the wonderful support you are giving your busy mothers after all they only have in mind to give you of their best otherwise they wouldn’t be working in the first place!