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Posts Tagged ‘Miami’

Time Out

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

South Florida has received quite a boost from the newly crowned National Basketball Association champion Miami Heat. It’s difficult to describe the frenzy of Heat fans in their quest for victory. It is truly compelling that in this time of economic downturn, the Heat sold out every home game. Apparently, the thrill of experiencing this type of event is quite powerful.

Sports is the quintessential bonding experience for diverse members of a community. CEOs and janitors, professors and school dropouts, men and women, youngsters and grandparents all get caught up in the euphoria.

Hotels were filled with tourists. Many visitors came from out of town. Some were fans of the opposing team. Some took advantage of the party-like atmosphere to take vacations. There were sportscasters and “wannabes,” family, friends and entourages of the players, and individuals who just wanted to be part of the exciting mix.

One visitor, however, was so unlikely that his presence was almost surreal. Former prisoner of Hamas Gilad Shalit was in town to launch his new career as a sportswriter. He watched the NBA finals and visited the Miami Dolphins training camp and the University of Miami football team.

Shalit was a 19-year-old Israeli soldier when he was kidnapped in a raid by Hamas terrorists in 2006. He was held hostage for over five years. His photo showed a bespectacled sweet-faced kid. He could have been anyone’s brother, son, neighbor or grandchild. In all that time his whereabouts where unknown. His captors denied him visits from the International Red Cross. Jews everywhere were haunted by his wrenching story.

Prime Minister Netanyahu ultimately did the unthinkable to save this one Israeli soldier. On October 17, 2011, Shalit was released in exchange for more than 1,000 Arab prisoners.

Gilad has kept out the spotlight since his return. He came to Florida with his newfound mentor, Arik Henig, a popular Israeli media figure who writes for newspapers and television. Henig, a seasoned reporter, was showing the ropes to his young protegé.

The question, of course, is how was it possible? Shalit is painfully shy and soft-spoken. How did this young man survive his ordeal? He was a kid alone. How did he muster the strength?

Shalit is a very private person. He does not like to be interviewed. He usually shuns discussion about his time in captivity. However, he shared some insights while in Miami. His revelations were poignant.

He told of his saving grace: he was given a radio by his jailers and was allowed to listen to sport broadcasts. Sometimes he even watched a televised soccer game with his guards. He had a distraction; a way to avoid dealing with his terrible predicament. He had a way to survive.

There are many who have great disdain for sports. They dismiss it as nahrishkeit (nonsense). They look down on those who play and those who watch.

The Rambam advised pleasurable distraction as a way of refreshing oneself and going on in one’s life. He suggested walks in a beautiful garden. Obviously he never heard of the NBA.

Life is often difficult. It is always terminal. One does not have to be a prisoner of terrorists to become overwhelmed by it all. Torah study, prayer, work and obligations are important. Sometimes there is a great need for a time out to refresh and revive.

It’s My Opinion: Tantrums

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

The recent loss by the Knicks in game two of their playoff series with the Miami Heat resulted in more than the loss of a basketball game. In an explosive postgame meltdown, Knicks star Amare Stoudemire lost control and punched the glass case of a fire extinguisher. His outburst led to 15 stitches in his hand. Stoudemire left Miami bandaged up and wearing an arm sling.

Tantrums, unfortunately, are not just the behavior of frustrated toddlers. Many adults give themselves permission to act out their anger. An explosive tantrum is always a terrible way to deal with a vexing situation.

During a tantrum the thinking part of the brain simply shuts down and the primitive reactionary component kicks in. Psychologists agree that neither promises of incredible gifts nor threats of dire punishments are effective once a child is in the throes of a frenzy. This shutdown occurs in tantrum throwers of all ages. The trick to averting this occurrence is, of course, not to allow one’s anger to rage out of control. Anger management skills are essential.

Jewish tradition treats the results of acting on anger in a very serious way. Rambam warns of the consequences of this phenomenon in a letter of counsel to his son. He writes of the importance of controlling rage. Our sages admonish, “If one becomes angry, if he is a prophet, his spirit of prophecy will be removed from him.” It is common sense to understand that if an individual’s mind is not letting him see the present clearly, it would be impossible for him to have the clarity to see the future.

Amare Stoudemire wound up with a bloody hand and as a derided target for tabloid headline writers. He said, “I am so mad at myself right now. I want to apologize to the fans and my team….”

It’s normal for human beings of all ages to experience a full range of emotions. Anger is one of them. People are “wired” differently and can respond differently to the same provocation. Our job is to harness our reactions and attain mastery of our own behavior.

400 Floridians Flock to Israel on Journey to Jerusalem

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Four hundred South Floridians have joined together on a “Mega Mission” to Israel, organized by the Miami Jewish Federation.

The 10-day trip embarked on Sunday.  Highlights will include a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, and visits to historic and religious sites, concerts, and other events.

The Miami Jewish Federation contributed $600,000 to the travelers, in order to help those who could not afford to make the journey.

The massive Floridian trip, called Journey to Jerusalem, will be covered with live reports from regional 7News reporter Rosh Lowe, who has joined the group on their trip.

Tzadik Plastic Surgeon to Shadchanim: Free Nose Job for Your Clients Who Need But Can’t Afford It

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Board-certified Miami plastic surgeon and Nose Job Specialist Michael Salzhauer surprised me, I had cynically expected something else entirely.

I’ve written about the Groggers, the band he hired to shoot a very funny commercial promoting his business, urging the “Jewcans” among us to alter their schnozes to get the shikse-looking girl. It was so beyond the pale, you had to laugh.

So I thought, Smart businessman, good finger on the pulse of his potential clients, how cool is that.

Then I wrote the article about his trouble with his colleagues at the ASPS on account of that video commercial, and I figured, I suppose you get hurt when you dare push the envelope, so maybe he’s a smart businessman, but maybe too smart for his own good. But it turned out the entire rebuke came from just one other plastic surgeon who took a ride on Salzhauer’s fame using a chronic absence of a sense of humor as a vehicle to get his own 15 minutes of fame. So far, there’s been no ASPS action against Salzhauer.

Then I was reading – because I’m Jewish and I’m addicted to the Jewish Press – the articles and counter articles and many hundreds of comments on the issue of giving your daughter an extra oomph in her search for a good husband, and, if needed, paying for her nose job.

So I started calling Dr. Michael Salzhauer’s office, asking for an interview, and whenever I called he’d be hard at work, turning Jewish noses into Nordic masterpieces (I could have written “Aryan masterpieces,” but then the hate mail would start pouring). We finally managed to talk, and he blew my mind. He forced me—an instinctive objector to vain mutilation for the sake of some notion of exterior beauty—to reconsider my views on this issue.

And he’s not cynical, that was another huge surprise. I walked away convinced he means every word he says.

 

MEET NOSE JOB SPECIALIST DR. MICHAEL SALZHAUER

Nose Job Specialist Michael Salzhauer on NBC's Today Show

Nose Job Specialist Michael Salzhauer on NBC's Today Show

Salzhauer: First of all, I love the Jewish Press, I remember reading it all the time when I was growing up in New York. I’m very pleased with the articles that you guys have written on the Groggers, and before we go into the controversy about the video, I want to tell you an interesting story.

I read Yitta Halberstam’s article (in which she recommended that young women looking for a husband should consider doing a nose job). Gil Student—he and I went to high school together—jokingly posted it on my Facebook page, saying he wonders if  Dr. Salzhauer would pay to have this article published.

I read the article, and I saw that there were like 500 comments. I didn’t read  through all the comments, of course. I read the article, and thought to myself, She’s right on! This is what I see in my daily practice. I see girls that come in with low self esteem, they have surgery, they blossom, and they go on and I see them months, years later, when they’re married and they thank me and it’s gratifying. It’s one of the most gratifying things about my job as a cosmetic surgeon.

So I put in a comment that she’s 100 percent correct.

I’ve been speaking to shadchanim (matchmakers) literally for years, offering my services for free. I say, look, if you have clients that you think would benefit from cosmetic surgery, I won’t charge them. If you refer them to me and you tell me that they’re dating and they’re trying and they don’t have the money for the surgery, please send them to me, I’ll be happy to do it and let’s see if we can’t change people’s lives.

(The average nose job costs between five and ten thousand dollars in Miami. In New York and Los Angeles these operations would cost between eight and twenty thousand – YY)

So I’ve been speaking to shadchanim and they all email me back and say, I think it’s a good idea, we’ll work on it, but no one ever took me up on the offer. I guess because it’s a very difficult conversation for a shadchan to broach with a young woman.

Imagine going to your shadchan and they tell you, I think you need a nose job, or liposuction. A lot of times it’s even congenital things, when one breast is bigger than the other, for instance. It’s a very common issue, but I know that in the frum community it’s more than just stigmatized, as it is in the general population, where, even though it’s very common, people still speak about plastic surgery in hushed whispers. For frum people it’s a taboo.

My Machberes

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Satmar Rebbe Visits Israel

Immediately after Shacharis on Monday, February 6, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe, taught a chapter of Tehillim to his students. At the close of the session, the Rebbe took leave and headed toward Newark Airport, on his way to Israel. The Rebbe, together with his escorts, conducted Minchah in an airport VIP room, after which he boarded the plane.

Belzer and Satmar Rebbes meet in Jerusalem, Feb. 15.

On Tuesday morning the Rebbe arrived in Israel. He was greeted by a delegation of Israeli Satmar leaders. After Shacharis, he was visited by the son of the Sadigura Rebbe, as well as by the Boyaner Rebbe, dressed in Shabbos clothing, who invited the Satmar Rebbe to his daughter’s wedding later that day.

The Rebbe then visited with Rabbi Shmuel Wosner, author of Shevet Levi. Leaving Rabbi Wosner, the Rebbe headed to the Satmar Beis Medrash in Bnei Brak for the kabbolas panim for the Meisels-Beer (Satmar-Ratzfert) wedding, for which the Rebbe came to Israel. The Rebbe was accompanied by family and a select few chassidim who make significant contributions toward supporting Satmar institutions, particularly those in Eretz Yisrael.

The wedding was that of Chanania Yom Tov Lipa Meisels to the daughter of Rabbi Meshulem Zisha Beer, Ratzferter Rebbe in Brazil; son of Rabbi Yoel Beer, zt”l (1923-1992), late Ratzferter Rebbe in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The chassan is the son of Rabbi Chaim Zvi Meisels, Bnei Brak Satmar rosh yeshiva; son of Rabbi Dovid Dov Berish Meisels, Boro Park Satmar Rav and brother-in-law of the Satmar Rebbe. Rabbi Chaim Zvi is a son-in-law of Rabbi Yisroel Hager, son of the Bnei Brak Vishnitzer Rebbe. The Satmar Rebbe is a son-in-law of the Bnei Brak Vishnitzer Rebbe.

Upon the Satmar Rebbe’s arrival at the kabbolas panim, the paperwork was immediately begun. The traditional tanaim (engagement document) was immediately drawn up, signed, and read aloud. This was followed by the preparations of the kesubah. After the chuppah, participants were taken by bus to the Ganei Atzulah Hall in Petach Tikva where the wedding meal was served. On the way, the Rebbe stopped at the Boyaner chassunah to wish mazel tov.

Satmar/Belz Meeting

Late Wednesday evening, the Satmar Rebbe traveled to the Telz-Stone neighborhood of Jerusalem, where Rabbi Yesochor Dov Rokeach, fifth Belzer Rebbe, maintains a home away from home for rest and relaxation. The much-anticipated meeting of the two rebbes included warm discussions about their chassidishe predecessors. That evening, the 23rd of Shevat, was the 118th yarhzeit of Rabbi Yehoshua Rokeach, zt”l (1825-1894), second Belzer Rebbe, and a lengthy discussion ensued regarding his minhagim.

The two rebbes spoke late into the night. When the Satmar Rebbe left, the Belzer Rebbe ushered him to his waiting car, a great honor among chassidishe rebbes.

Alcohol Restrictions At Flatbush Agudath Israel

Beis Medrash Beis Binyamin at 2913 Avenue L, an Agudath Israel minyan in Brooklyn, enacted alcohol restrictions in response to two occurrences that resulted in Hatzolah calls on Shabbos for alcohol-related incidents. In both cases a youth had over-imbibed and was adversely affected. The youths reportedly were from outside the shul and had been “cruising” for simchas where, traditionally, alcohol is available.

The shul issued strict guidelines, including no hard liquor of any kind to be served at a shalom zachor; only beer and wine can be served, and only from the head table by the simcha celebrant or designated person; no beer can be served to children; at all other events – aufruf, bar mitzvah, chassunah, kiddush, sheva berachos, vort, yahrzeit, etc. – the simcha celebrant must designate a responsible person to oversee all alcoholic beverages; adults who see young people drinking alcoholic beverages must admonish them as well as advise the simcha celebrant.

Bikur Cholim Milestones

Antwerp

Bikur Cholim of Antwerp was organized several years ago as an impromptu organization without any official recognition or registration and without any municipal or governmental authorization. It simply began its work of helping patients of hospitals as well as attending family members. Nor did anyone seek any endorsement from any health ministry.

Several months ago, the directors, seeking to expand their services, applied for official recognition. This, they realized, would facilitate bikur cholim volunteers in communicating with doctors and hospital staff and thereby be of greater significant service. The Ministry of Health dispatched a review committee to familiarize themselves with Bikur Cholim’s activities and functions, including training, funding, and bookkeeping. Impressed with Bikur Cholim’s mission, volunteers, productivity, and success, the Ministry of Health’s review committee quickly granted official recognition.

This will enable bikur cholim volunteers to gain greater cooperation from hospital bureaucracies on behalf of patients and their attending family members in Antwerp, as well as in Brussels, Gent, and Leuven, where large observant communities are found.

Starting Line (Part I)

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

It was a lovely Sunday afternoon in the park when I bumped into a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a long time. After the obligatory pleasantries were exchanged, she tentatively asked me if something was wrong with my health. “No,” I responded, confused. “I’m doing better than ever.”

“So what’s wrong?” she asked. “Have you lost your job?”

“No, not at all! Where are you getting this from?” I asked.

“Everything okay with the family?” she asked. “How is everybody doing?”

“Honey, everything’s great,” I assured her. “What makes you think something’s wrong?”

“To be honest,” she responded, “you look terrible! You’re covered in sweat, you can barely breathe, you look like you haven’t showered in a week, and you lost a lot of weight. So I just assumed something must be wrong.” I laughed and looked down at my soak-stained T-shirt. “Of course I look terrible,” I told her. “I’m in the middle of a workout.”

I’ve been called many things in my life – but a runner is certainly not one of them. I run to catch the bus, I run after my toddler, and, like everybody else, I run after the occasional ice cream truck. But to purposely run for the sake of working out? Well, that goes against everything I stand for!

It was for this very reason that nobody believed I would be running a half-marathon this coming January in beautiful Miami Beach. My friends told me that I can’t just pull an “April Fools” in the middle of October, my parents laughed, and my 3-year-old simply asked, “Mommy, where are you running? To the manicure store before they close?”

But the truth is that I committed to running this marathon for a great cause. Yachad, the National Jewish Council for Disabilities, is an organization that is dedicated to addressing the needs of people with disabilities and including them in the Jewish community. This year, for the third consecutive year, Yachad has put together a team of runners from all over the country to compete in the ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon in January 2012. Each team member commits to raising a set amount of money and, in exchange, they get an all-expense paid trip to Miami, including accommodations, airfare, and entrance into the race.

As much as the next person, I love pushing myself to the extreme and working my knees till they bleed. But nonetheless, I must honestly say that my intentions are completely pure, and I have no ulterior motives for doing this. I am certainly not doing it for the Miami trip, or the beautiful sunshine in the dead of winter, or the Shabbaton, weekend and parties. Not me! I’m the type of person that will travel all the way down to Florida, eat as much sushi as they stuff down my throat, meet as many amazing people as they force me to meet (and on top of it all, get in the best shape of my life) – all for the selfless act of raising money for a good cause.

And so, being the selfless person that I am, I invite all of you to share in my one-of-a-kind experience, and run with Team Yachad this coming January. If you can’t join personally, any and all donations are always appreciated. Visit www.teamyachad.com to check out all the runners and sponsor someone, or sign up and check out all the great things included in the trip. Get ready for the most amazing, fulfilling and rewarding experience of your life. See you there!

Shaindy Urman is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. She can be reached at shaindy@jewishpress.com.

Shaindy will be running with Team Yachad this year in the ING Miami Marathon. To sponsor Shaindy and donate to a great cause, visit her page, www.teamyachad.com/shaindy. All proceeds, no matter the sum, go to benefit Yachad, the National Jewish Council for Disabilities.

Calendar Of Events

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

WHAT: Bais Yaakov of Miami 29th Anniversary Dinner – honoring Rabbi and Mrs. Yisroel Janowski and Mr. and Mrs. Pesach Goodman
WHEN: Sunday, December 18; reception 6 p.m., dinner 7 p.m.
WHERE: Hilton Miami Downtown, 1601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
COST: $260 per couple
CONTACT: 305-957-1670 or bethjacobschool@bellsouth.net

* * *

WHAT: 32nd annual South Florida Chanukah Festival – featuring Benny Friedman, The French Chassidic Acrobats & Yisroel Amar
WHEN: Monday, December 26, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Gulfstream, 901 S Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach
COST: Free admission – sponsorships available
CONTACT: 954-458-1877

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/calendar-of-events-2/2011/12/15/

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