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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘memory’

If Memory Serves…

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

The last time you saw your doctor, he likely told you about your heart, your cholesterol, your blood pressure…but did he mention anything about your mind? Or did you think to ask?

While we may not always listen to prevailing wisdom, the Health Revolution and accessibility of wellness information has made all of us far more conscious about eating right, exercise, and well care than previous generations were. But it only just came to my attention that people have less concern about mind health than they do about body health.

And this is not necessarily a wise thing.

Recently, I was hosted by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Headquartered in Manhattan, the national foundation is headed by my former colleague Senator Charles Fuschillo, Jr., who, along with his staff, presented startling statistics that I was unaware of.

Here are a few:

* More than 5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease.

* It’s estimated that about a half million Americans younger than age 65 have some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s.

* While Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, the risk of developing the illness increases with age and doubles every five years beyond age 65.

* One to four family members act as caregivers for each individual with Alzheimer’s disease.

Many of us have seen it up close: It’s not just the individual with the disease who is impacted but also any number of close relatives who become de facto caregivers.

The good news is that there are resources available for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, as well as those who help them and their loved ones. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a center for disseminating such information.

Among its many services, the AFA provides free memory screenings, which I plan to offer in my district. No one wants to be the bearer of bad news, but early detection and awareness-raising education is important, and I urge community leaders who are in a position to share information with others to look into these free memory screening and education opportunities.

As I learned yesterday, everyone loses his or her keys. It’s when you find them and don’t remember what they’re for that you have to start worrying. For 5 million Americans learning to cope with the onset of Alzheimer’s – to say nothing of the 10 to 20 million people they will impact with their care needs – this is a serious matter. But a little diligence can make it easier.

State Senator Simcha Felder

In Memory of Albert (Anshel) Klass

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Albert (Anshel) Klass, ah, lea a long and unique life. He passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 105, but what was even more remarkable than his longevity was the fact that he remained active and productive into his final years after having played a key role in the initial success of The Jewish Press.

At the Brooklyn Daily

At the Brooklyn Daily

More important to him, Reb Anshel made a tremendous contribution to the members of five generations of the extended Klass family. These included his parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and their children as well. His family was his pride and joy, and he served it as a living role model of a Torah-imbued personality.

His life was an example of Torah, middos and humility in action. He showed the deepest respect for his fellow man by scrupulously observing the mitzvos of shmiras halashon. He never spoke ill of anyone and was meticulous in expressing his sincere appreciation for everything he had, and for everyone who cared for him. He told one of his grandchildren that at the end of each day he took time to review everything he said or did to make sure he had not hurt anyone’s feelings.

According to his son, Rabbi Yaakov Klass, Reb Anshel was constantly aware of his responsibilities as a Jew, and never wasted an opportunity to live up to them, to the last moments of his very long life. He cherished the opportunity to perform every mitzvah with true joy, from giving tzedakah to singing zemiros at the Shabbos table.

Albert Klass did everything carefully and methodically, conscious that those he would meet in the course of his work would judge him as an example of what a religious Jew is like. Despite his modest means, he always presented an attractive image, dressed meticulously, complete with a tie, shined shoes and manicured hands.

His niece, Naomi Mauer, said with admiration, “Uncle Albie was a true gentleman,” both in the way he looked and in the way he acted.

He was neat and orderly in every aspect of his life, including keeping careful track of every grandchild and great-grandchild’s birthday. He used to keep the dates written down on a piece of paper in his wallet, and referred to it often so as not to miss an opportunity to give his eineklach a mazel tov.

Hilda and Albert at their wedding

Hilda and Albert at their wedding

He saw it as his mission to convey his love and compassion to every member of his family. He carefully listened to every child and young person and encouraged them, as his son, Arthur said, “to find and follow their own the paths and dreams.” When they couldn’t come to see him in person, he always welcomed receiving their phone calls, which he would always end by saying, with great sincerity, “Thanks for calling. Take care, darling.”

He was a man of modest means, but, according to his grandson, Moshe Klass, when Reb Anshel spoke to others, he would frequently refer to himself as a “millionaire” because of the nachas he got from his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He attended every family simcha with great pride and enjoyed the many summers which The Jewish Press families spent together at the Homowack Hotel in the Catskills. He cherished every opportunity for family bonding and making lasting memories that spanned the generations.

His grandchildren and great-grandchildren loved his impish sense of humor. When they would ask him with real concern about the inevitable infirmities of advanced age, how he was feeling, his snappy answer was, “With my hands.” When he was asked about the secret of his longevity, his answer was simply, “Keep on breathing.” When someone blessed him to live to the age of 180 (because the traditional goal of 120 was becoming too close), he quickly responded, “And you should be there with me!” He remained truly young at heart. At the age of 95, after visiting a sibling in an assisted living facility, he commented with sincerity, “It’s very sad seeing all of those elderly people.”

Yaakov Kornreich


Monday, July 4th, 2016

My son is a hero,” she says. “My son died as a martyr defending Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque. Praise be to God, he is united with the martyrs before him, and he is not better than them. God willing, all of them will follow this path, all the youth of Palestine.”

Another proud “Palestinian” mom.

IDF and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) are investigating how 19-year old terrorist Mohammad Tarairah, from the village of Bani Naim near Hebron, managed to climb the fence surrounding Kiryat Arba and enter the settlement.
Tarairah had no obstructions when he the entered into the Ariel family’s house, and killed 13-year old Hallel Yaffa while she slept in her bed.

Tarairah, according to his proud mom, was just doing what should be expected from a true son of”Palestine.”

Every element of his society has created this monster and surely many more will follow in his wake.
There can not be a sharper dichotomy between two societies living side by side.
We build they destroy.
We nourish, they poison
We pray for peace
They hope for destruction.
We make a garden of Eden from waste land, they create waste land where there was desert.

This is true in every part of the world and has nothing to do with “Jerusalem or al Aksa..”
It is so simple and clear that it is an embarrassment for the sophisticated “moral relativism” professors.

The Torah observed the phenomenon from the very beginning:
“A wild ass among men(Ishmael); his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell over against all his brethren” (Genesis 16:12).

It is not acceptable that a entire culture is just plain bad and has nothing to offer the world. There must be an enlightened explanation; some fault that we can pin on ourselves.. or better yet, on the Jews.

Here too, our Rabbis have identified the situation: ” Esau hates Jacob – it is the law.” So much for the enlightened professors.

When it comes to the Jews, the laws of history and fair play do not apply.
I understand the enemies of the Jewish people whether they are of Ishmael, Esau. It is in their genes. It is not about logic.

What continues to sadden, disappoint and interest me most are the Jewish enemies of the Jewish people.
This too is an ancient phenomenon, at least from the time that a Jew informed on Moses to the Egyptian authorities.

During the “holy month of Ramadan” Muslims are known to be more prone to violence. I know it is an oxymoron but it is what it is Perhaps fasting daily for a month makes them irritable..
It wasn’t a surprise then that this week Muslim “worshipers” on Temple Mount attacked Jewish visitors.

Why not?

The Israeli police exercising their full authority, solved the problem; once again, they expelled ALL Jews from the mount for the rest of the week.
Hey, if the Jews weren’t there the rocks would have no place to strike right?

Two days ago there was a near lynch of eight Jews in Ramallah. “Nine Israelis were successfully rescued from Ramallah, after they entered the city Wednesday night, the IDF said Thursday. The Israelis were not harmed, but the vehicles they used to enter Ramallah were destroyed by rioters.

The Israelis were members of a leftist group who had gone to Ramallah to join in an iftar (post-Ramadan feast) meal. The group had been invited by members of a Palestinian group, and they entered Ramallah through the Kalandiya crossing. Late Wednesday, IDF officials got word that a riot was erupting in Ramallah and that Israeli cars were being stoned. An IDF unit entered Ramallah and quickly removed the Israelis, who feared that the Arab mob was set to attack them.”

Now, I understand the enemy. It has been foretold even though it is not logical. But what about Jews who consort and abet the enemy and never learn?

Can we simply expect this self destructive logical behavior?


No more tired explanations or justifications; just yes.

That’s the way it is and has been through out our very unnatural history.

I recently watched a documentary about the genesis of the Israel – “Palestinian” conflict.

The Arabs interviewed offered their own contrived narrative in a emotive, vigorous manner as usual.

One of the Jewish experts explained that, true the “Palestinian” narrative is largely a fabrication but it is the memory that they have adopted. Therefor , he suggested, we not challenge their narrative too vigorously but rather, we should acknowledge it and choose to forget certain parts of our own history. Thus we will not be at constant logger heads with our neighbors with whom we must come to an understanding..

Is it not the wise elder statesman, Shimon Peres who always urges us to understand that, “history is not important”? We can determine a future of peace, not burdened by the heavy weight of history.

So the killer’s mother is convinced that her son was martyred for their Jerusalem and we clear the Temple mount of Jews to show how right they are.

The famous Kutzker rebbe said,”It is a sin to deceive your neighbor. It is a crime to deceive yourself.”

Shalom Pollack

Thousands Mark Anniversary of Hamas Kidnapped Jewish Boys in Nature Preserve Created in their Memory

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

With a stirring ceremony in the presence of family members of the abducted three youths taken by Hamas murderers in July 2014, the Head of Gush Etzion Council Davidi Perl and thousands of local residents celebrated their memory at the Oz v’Gaon Nature Preserve on the hill above Gush Etzion Junction in Judea. The nature preserve was established in the memory of the three youths.

The event, conducted by Women in Green, which launched the preserve project and has been running it as a site for education, tourism and camping, was opened by Yehudit Katsover, one of the heads of the movement, with the story of how the decision was made to go up to the preserve on the very night in which the bodies of the abducted youths were found. Katsover told the audience that this is the way of Zionism: development and growth emerge out of pain. But she added that “it could also be otherwise; we could and should cut off the enemy’s hope by applying Israeli sovereignty” in Area C of Judea and Samaria (to start, at least).

Oz v'Gaon

Oz v’Gaon

“Without the backing of the people, the parents, the council, the IDF and the various other bodies this would not have succeeded, and this is why we came to say Thank you,” said Nadia Matar, Katsover’s partner in leading the movement. Matar listed the activists and donors who contributed to the event as well as to the two-year-old nature preserve.

Katsover gave the family members of the youths a memento, symbolizing the preserve – a small JNF bench with a dedication.

Uri Yifrach, father of Eyal, Hy”d, read aloud words that Eyal wrote just a few days before he was abducted and murdered, in which he related to the value of having difficulties and pain on the way to achieving a goal. “The path is the value, and without the path, you will not arrive at the destination,” Eyal wrote. “We would be glad to do without the path, and get to the goal, but God put us on the path. We must understand that if the path takes time, this is the will of God. The path will exact casualties, it is difficult and grueling but it takes us closer to the goal. Every step on the path creates life, and when you are on the path, give it your all, take advantage of every moment of your life as if it were your last.”

Bat Galim Shaer, mother of Gil-Ad, spoke of the poem “My life is in your blood” that was heard at the event, and “became for us a daily reality, from the pain and bereavement we strive to grow towards life and activity, and Yehudit and Nadia are examples for us.”

She went on, emphasizing the uniqueness of Oz v’Gaon as a place of daily and continued activity and not a one-time memory or event, “a living, growing and breathing place every single day.”

Oz v'Gaon

Oz v’Gaon

Raheli Frenkel, mother of Naftali, Hy”d, drew a parallel with the murder of Hallel Ariel, Hy”d, on Thursday in Kiryat Arba. “We woke up in the morning and the only thing we wanted to do was to embrace the Ariel family and the memory of Hallel, our lost princess. I heard Rina cry, ‘My life is in your blood,’ and this morning became a song in praise of life for those who choose to live here, of the joy that fills this place with energy, with wonderful youth and with visitors who come from all over the world.”

Frenkel expressed the hope that the Jewish youths of the area and throughout Israel will continue to stream to the preserve, to be joyful and complete the dreams for summer vacation that Hallel Ariel, Hy”d, had, dreams that were not fulfilled.

Davidi Perl drew a connection between the weekly Torah portion of Korah, and the growth and renewal that are apparent to all those who come to the preserve. Perl mentioned the saying about the prophet Samuel, who was a descendant of Korah’s offspring who did not die. “From the pit arose the flowering of prophecy, renewal and the prayer of [Samuel’s mother] Hanna,” he said.

Oz v'Gaon

Oz v’Gaon

“Two years ago, a deep chasm opened with the murder of the three youths and we all fell together into the abyss,” Perl said, adding that “with the spirit of Oz v’Gaon this place was born anew. A call went out from here for a renewal of growth, a flowering of life with great depth on the crossroads between Jerusalem and Hebron. In the place that symbolizes this connection we have put down deep roots, two years of yearning and challenges in which we have lost other victims, two years in which the junction became a symbol of heroism and determination, of the people saying that we will stand for our rights and for our demand for full sovereignty over all of the Land of Israel, as our right and not as a gift of kindness.”

The event concluded with a walk to the observation point overlooking Gush Etzion Junction, which had undergone renovation and new artistic decoration in recent weeks. In the presence of the Head of the Local Council, the recently improved path connecting the junction to the nature preserve was dedicated. After words of blessing and thanks, the ribbon at the path was cut and hundreds of blue balloons were released into the air.


Watch full Version: Knesset ‘Songs in their Memory’ Event Honoring Israel’s Fallen [video]

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

On Tuesday, the eve of the Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism, the Knesset held the “Songs in their Memory” event in the presence of President Reven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and hundreds of members of bereaved families.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Welfare Minister Haim Katz, Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan and Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich recited poems.

Israeli dignitaries at the memorial wall to the IDF fallen / Photo credit: Itzik Harari, Knesset Public Relations Division

Israeli dignitaries at the memorial wall to the IDF fallen / Photo credit: Itzik Harari, Knesset Public Relations Division

The ceremony also featured performances by Shiri Meimon, Ninet Tayeb, Harel Skaat, Idan Haviv, Chief IDF Cantor Lt. Col. Shai Abramson, Uziya Tzadok and military bands.

The main national event on the eve of the Day of Remembrance was a joint initiative of the Knesset, Ministry of Defense’s Families and Commemoration Department and the National Insurance Institute’s Division for Terror Victims.

During the event, the stories of the following fallen soldiers and terror victims were told:

Yair Engel and Matan Polivoda, the Shayetet 13 soldiers who were killed in a diving accident;

Ben Vanunu, who was killed in Operation Protective Edge;

Abie Moses, who lost his wife and son and suffered severe burns during a terror attack near Alfei Menashe;

Lt. Col. Daniel Shipenbauer, the pilot who was awarded a citation for an operation in August 2006 and was killed in the helicopter crash in Romania;

Dafna Meir, who was stabbed to death in front of her teenage daughter inside their home in Otniel;

Border Police Cpl. Hadar Cohen, who was murdered during a terror attack at Damascus Gate outside of Jerusalem’s Old City after preventing the death of a fellow officer.


Chocolate May Be Sweet Solution for Memory Problems Age 50+

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Are you over fifty and finding it hard to keep track of your car, your keys or new faces these days?

According to the findings of a small study published in the October 1, 2014 volume of the journal Nature Neuroscience, chocolate may improve memory skills normally lost with age.

Healthy subjects ages 50 to 69 performed better on a memory test after drinking a mixture high in cocoa flavanols for three months than those who drank a mixture low in flavanols.

Cocoa flavanols are anti-oxidants, which led the drinkers to perform the same as people 20 to 30 years younger on a pattern recognition test involving the kind of skill used when remembering the face of someone you just met, or the place you parked your car.

Researchers found that people in the high-flavanol group exhibited increased function in the “dentate gyrus” area of the brain’s hippocampus – the area linked to this type of memory skill.

According to the study’s principal investigator Dr. Scott A. Small, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center, those who drank the cocoa flavanol mixture performed 25 percent better than the low-flavanol control group.

The area of the hippocampus that is impaired early in Alzheimer’s disease – the entorhinal cortex – showed no increased activity.

But it would take a monumental amount of chocolate to reach the level of flavanols necessary to achieve any effect, doctors say.

To reach 138 milligrams of epicatechin (the daily dose of the high flavanol group), one would have to eat about 100 grams of baking chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder – about 300 grams of dark chocolate a day.

Consider the incredible amount of fat and calories involved, and the cost-benefit ratio.

Is it really worth it?

Age-related memory decline may be different, and that flavanols may not help people with Alzheimer’s, even if they help those with age-related memory loss, researchers point out.

There were other factors involved that may have affected the study outcomes, including the size of the cohort and other food items consumed by the subjects and controls.

Nevertheless, good news about chocolate in any form is always good news for chocolate lovers.


Hana Levi Julian

A Woman of Courage and Strength

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

When I was little, my parents didn’t have much money so family vacations were non-existent. But somehow, for years if I remember correctly, my uncle and aunt invited me to spend a week at their house. These are the memories of a child – perhaps it was only a few days. For all I know, it could have been only one night – but the memory I carry with me was that I spent days and days with my Uncle Woodie and my Aunt Pia.

Pia was an accomplished artist – she filled her house with color and brightness. She was a wonderful mother…housewife…teacher. She was always dressed so beautifully, so elegantly. I have so many memories of her as I was growing up.

Seven years ago, Pia was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told she had months, maybe even just weeks, to live. She redefined courage as she fought back the disease time and time again.

When a doctor told her there was no hope… she decided not to listen. She went experimental treatments, was declared cancer free and continued to fight even after the disease re-appeared. She became a symbol for many as she launched campaigns to raise money and awareness for a disease that leaves devastation and shock in its wake.

Through it all, she continued to smile, continued to cherish her family. I saw her a bit over a year ago when she came to Israel to celebrate the bar mitzvah of her oldest grandson. There was such pride in her as she stood on Masada and watched her daughter’s family gather around.

We all knew the disease was still there and we knew she would continue to fight it for as long as she could. She never gave up; she never gave in.

She lost her battle with cancer on Friday (Shabbat in Israel).

There are many heroes in the world – perhaps the greatest are those who simply struggle to live their lives with dignity, respect, and love.

I always knew Pia was a woman of grace, beauty, talent and love. I have learned over the last few years, that she was also a woman of incredible courage and strength. May God bless her memory.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula Stern

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