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September 12 – September 26

Vol. 5 Issue 115

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Features

September 12, 2008

community links • Volume 5 Issue 115

10 8

Warning: Internet Blogs Are Dangerous! There is a threat to our children and our communities as great as any external terrorist threat. It is a threat from within. Dr. Robert Rome

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34 24

Your Guide to Elul

34

Hide & No Seek

The Fireman Once it happened that a lad from a small village came to town for the first time. Suddenly he heard the sound of a bugle. He asked the innkeeper what it meant.

September 12

PARSHAS KI SEITZEI The Chofetz Chaim shouted from the wagon, “Someone is watching!”... Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

44

Rabbi Nissen Mindel

4

Basic customs and practices for the month of Elul.

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The Rosh Hashana Survival Kit Jewish thinking relates to holidays as far more than commemorations of past events. Rosh Hashanah is certainly more than a Jewish January first.

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Warning: Internet Blogs Are Dangerous!

By Robert J. Rome, Ph.D.

T

here is a threat to our children and our communities as great as any external terrorist threat. It is a threat from within. The threat comes from internet sites that can defame anyone, state anything, and then get away without any liability. The threat is from Blogs. The term "blog" comes from "web log," an online journal in which individual readers can post their own comments and views. There are a number of "legitimate" internet sites that have blogs attached, including news sites of the major networks. But there are other free standing blogs. These are especially dangerous. Writers can post most anything on a blog. Occasionally, the owners of the blog will check for dangerous postings, such as threatening messages or writings that unduly defame the innocent. The owners of the blog may then remove the dangerous information. Even these times, the damage may already be done. The posting has been read by hundreds. Sometimes, even the mainstream news outlets pick up the rumors of the posting

and run the stories on TV or in the newspapers. There are blogs specifically put online to offend. The "owners" of these blog sites are the offenders. They circulate rumors that are hurtful. And there are readers who check daily for new gossip. Barack Obama isn't a Moslem. Sarah Palin doesn't believe that Alaska should secede from the Union. John McCain's adopted daughter isn't his "black love child." Yet, all of these claims were circulated on the internet by bloggers. From the protection of the blog sites, courts can't touch 'em. Slander and libel courts have not been able to pierce the blog world. And once you are the subject of a blog, if someone googles you, they get all of the salacious information posted about you, even if there is no truth whatsoever about the rumor. The rumors seem to gain a life of their own. Rumors that have been long disproven are still on the internet years later. Just google and you will see the rumors just like the day they were invented. Through the blogs gossip never dies. It does not even fade away. We all know the Rabbinic principle that Lashon Hara, gossip, is like murder. That is the danger that comes with gossip as reputations are destroyed, people are destroyed. But rumors posted on the internet are worldwide. In prior times, if someone's reputation was hurt in Los Angeles, the person could move to Miami where no one had heard the rumors. Now, when the person moves to Miami, the locals there google the newcomer's name. All of the rumors then scroll down the computer screen. The newcomer to Miami becomes a laughingstock in yet another city. His or her children become the subject of ridicule. And there's no escape.

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Blogs have been in the news lately. Sarah Palin and her family members have been victimized by blogs, just as Barack Obama had been the victim of countless blog stories over the past 19 months. But one story about Sarah Palin was especially vicious. I am only sharing the story because everyone now realizes that it is false. According to this story, Sarah Palin's little boy with Down Syndrome is really the child of Sarah's oldest daughter. The only problem: That baby was born in April. Sarah's daughter, as everyone now knows is five months pregnant, and visibly so. For the rumor to be true, either this girl was pregnant with two different fetuses with due dates nine months apart, or she became pregnant just days after delivering a baby boy. Both occurrences would be biologically impossible. Of course, the rumors were untrue. The blog site masters which had originally posted the information announced that they would not accept any additional articles on the subject. They explained that the story could no longer be true with the announced pregnancy of the Palin daughter. This did not stop those who had heard about or read the rumor on the blog from still talking about it. I even read in the Los Angeles Times about this rumor, days after it had been pulled from the blog. Attacks on a Presidential candidate. Attacks on a Vice-Presidential candidate. Attacks on the candidates' families. It does not stop there. A Rabbi in New York was accused of sleeping with women he was counseling on a blog, a vicious lie. Other Jewish leaders have been defamed and harmed irreparably through blog postings. Blogs destroy. They hurt people. Everywhere. And forever. Bloggers, those who blog, have found a way to "perfect" rumors and slander. Lashon Hara has become high tech. We warn parents to keep their children far from drugs and alcohol. We warn about pornography. But the potential damage to real individuals from blogging far exceed anything we can imagine. Our children and teens most often don't see the blogs as the danger they really are. If something is in print, even on the internet, there is seen to be an authenticity to the story. Blogs provide a new dimension to Lashon Hara. We have to spread the word: Blogs must be off limits. Blogs destroy. We must tell our children. We must tell everyone we know. We must demand that the "traditional" news media not rely on blogs for stories. Blogs will only go away when no one is reading them. With our help, blogs can disappear. Their loss will bring society's gain. Robert J. Rome, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in clinical practice in Encino, California. He can be reached at RJRome@aol.com.

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"If I had better foresight, maybe I could have improved things a little bit," said Mr. Richard F. Syron, chief executive of the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. "But frankly, if I had perfect foresight, I would never have taken this job in the first place." Mr. Syron said these very true and clever words when he was called on the carpet for not being more in tune and listening to warnings about risky financial investment he was making. Foresight wouldn't have just helped Mr. Syron, it could help us all with all that we need to know and the decisions that we have to make in our lives. Which school would be better for each of our children? Which job would it be better to take? The problem is that we don't have foresight. If we could see into the future - to know who we will marry, how many children we will have, how long we will live or even if we will win the lottery - a lot of us would live our lives differently.

IF I HAD PERFECT FORESIGHT But that knowledge is not offered to us - we only get 20/20 hindsight. Not foresight. But there is something available to us that many people, including Mr. Syron, don't make use of - the hindsight of others. We can make use of the experience of those who have gone through whatever we are going through already and are therefore more knowledgeable. We all know of people who have gone through the same difficulty as us, or someone who has counseled another who has gone through that identical difficulty and we don't make use of that gold mine of knowledge. Often when people come to me for advice they are flabbergasted by ideas that I have for them simply because they don't realize that though I myself personally may have not gone through a certain trials and experiences in my life time I have counseled enough people who have that I know what works and what doesn't. Support groups run successfully using this very idea - gaining from what others who have been in a similar position have learned. Seeking advice from and learning from others, be it teachers, mentors or the like, will save us from Mr. Syron's position. And though like Mr. Syron - who according to the news, rejected internal warnings that could have protected the company from some of the financial crises engulfing it -many don't like to seek or listen to the advice of others, there is something in learning from the hindsight of our fellow man. Had he done so, he wouldn't have been left saying, "If I had better foresight ..."

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M

any, many years ago, before there were any fire engines or fire brigades, or electric fire alarms, and most houses were built of wood, a fire was a terrible thing. A whole town, or a good part of it, could go up in flames and smoke. And so, when fire broke out, everyone left his business or work, and rushed to help put out the fire. There used to be a watchtower that was taller than the other buildings, where a watchman kept a lookout all the time. As soon as he saw smoke or fire, he would sound the alarm. The townspeople would then form a human chain between the fire and the nearest well, and pass on to each other pails of water with which to put out the fire. Once it happened that a lad from a small village came to town for the first time. He stopped at an inn, on the outskirts of the town. Suddenly he heard the sound of a bugle. He asked the innkeeper what it meant. "Whenever we have a fire," the innkeeper explained to the lad, "we sound the bugle, and the fire is quickly put out." "How wonderful!" thought the village lad. "What a surprise and sensation I will bring to my village!" Thereupon, the village lad went and bought himself a bugle. When he returned to his village, he was full of excitement. He called all the villagers together. "Listen, good people," he exclaimed. "No need to be afraid of fire any more. Just watch me, and see how quickly I will put out a fire!" Saying this, he ran to the nearest hut and set fire to its straw roof. The fire began to spread very quickly.

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"Don't be alarmed!" cried the lad. "Now watch me." The lad began to blow the bugle with all his might, interrupting it only to catch his breath, and to say, "Wait, this will put out the fire in no time!" But the fire did not seem to care much for the music, and merely hopped from one roof to another, until the entire village was in flames. The villagers now began to scold and curse the lad. "You fool," they cried. "Did you think that the mere blowing of the trumpet will put the fire out? It is only the call of an alarm, to wake up the people, if they are asleep, or to break them away from their business and work, and send them to the well to draw water and put out the fire!" We are reminded of this story when we think of the shofar that is sounded many times on Rosh Hashanah. Some people think like that village lad, that the sound of the shofar itself will do everything for them. They think that they may continue to "sleep," or go about their business, there being no need to change their way of life and daily conduct; the shofar sounded in the synagogue will surely bring them a happy New Year. But, like the bugle in the story, the shofar is but the sound of an "alarm." It has a message: "Wake up, you sleepers, think about your ways, return to G-d, put out the 'fire' that is threatening to destroy your Jewish homes. Go to the Well, the Well of Living Waters, the Torah and mitzvot. Hurry, before it is too late!" That is why, immediately after the shofar is sounded, we proclaim: "Happy are the people who understand the meaning of the sound of the shofar; they walk in Your light, O' G-d." Courtesty of chabad.org

By Nissan Mindel

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Your Guide to Elul:

As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionally a time of introspection and stocktaking -- a time to review one's deeds and spiritual progress over the past year and prepare for the upcoming "Days of Awe" of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. As the month of "Divine Mercy and Forgiveness," Elul is a most opportune time for teshuvah ("return" to G-d), prayer, charity, and increased Ahavat Yisrael (love for a fellow Jew) in the quest for self-improvement and coming closer to G-d. Chassidic master Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi likens the month of Elul to a time when "the king is in the field" and, in contrast to when he is in the royal palace, "everyone who so desires is permitted to meet him, and he receives them all with a cheerful countenance and shows a smiling face to them all." The following are some of the basic customs and practices for the month of Elul: • Each day of the month of Elul (except for Shabbat and the last day of Elul), we sound the shofar (ram's horn) as a call to repentance. • When writing a letter or meeting one another, we bless one another by including the greeting Ketivah vachatimah tovah--which roughly translates as "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year." • Chapter 27 of the Book of Psalms is added to daily prayers, in the morning and afternoon. • The Baal Shem Tov instituted the custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms). • Elul is a good time to have one's tefillin and mezuzot checked by an accredited scribe to ensure that they are in good condition and fit for use. • During the last week of Elul, in the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah, the Slichot prayers are recited, the first night at midnight, the following days in the early morning. •

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C

an one plan to be blessed? Obviously, we believe that when we live life as G-d intended us to, we will find or lives blessed in many ways. Even if we do not always see the results tangibly or immediately, we certainly are aware of many blessings that come with the territory of leading a G-dly life. But there is a verse in our Parshah, which promises us blessings we never even dreamed of. If you will listen to the voice of G-d... and observe the commandments... All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you... (Deuteronomy 28:2) What does it mean that blessings will overtake you? Rabbi Ovadia Sforno, one of the classic Biblical commentators, suggests that it means you will be blessed even when you made no effort to seek those blessings. It will come out of the blue, an unexpected windfall. "How do you know that your livelihood's in that direction and you're running after it? Perhaps it lies in the opposite direction..." The story is told of the saintly Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev that he once saw a young man running down the street. The Chassidic master stopped him and asked, "Where are you running?" The fellow answered, "To make a living, rabbi." To which the Berditchever responded, "So how do you know that your living lies in that direction and you're running after it? Perhaps your livelihood is to be found in the

By Yossy Goldman

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opposite direction, and you're running away from it?" Do we ever know for sure? How often do the best laid plans of mice and men come to naught? Haven't we all had the experience of trying our hardest to do a deal, and yet with all the planning and strategizing nothing whatsoever materialized? And on the other hand, there may have been times when we put no work into it at all and suddenly from nowhere we landed the deal of the year? The truth is we don't know where the blessing of our livelihood lies. Our soul may hear something on a higher plane and it filters down And so it is with spiritual blessings. There are times when we make the effort and remain uninspired and there are times when we become inspired effortlessly. According to the Baal Shem Tov, our unconscious soul may hear something on a higher plane and it filters down to our conscious soul and we are touched, moved or inspired.

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We live in an era of much confusion. Many are lost, floundering about in spiritual wildernesses. But many are finding themselves too. There have been many who didn't necessarily go looking for G-d but G-d found them. "How did you get inspired?" "To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure. I was minding my own business and I bumped into this Rabbi." Or, "I was sitting next to this fellow on the plane..." If you feel the spirit overtaking you, slow down or, "I was just a tourist at the Western Wall but something moved me." Everybody has a story. In some stories we went looking for G-d, in others He came looking for us.

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PARSHAS KI SEITZEI

Hide and No Seek

by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

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T

his week's parsha is replete with a potpourri of commandments, all encompassing both negative and positive directives that affect our dealings with fellow humans as well as our Creator. Among the directives is the mitzvah of hashavas aveidah, returning the lost items of your fellow Jew. "You shall not see the ox of your brother or his sheep or goat cast off, and hide yourself from them; you shall surely return them to your brother. If your brother is not near you and you do not know him, then gather it inside your house, and it shall remain with you until your brother inquires after it, and you return it to him. So shall you do for his donkey, so shall you do for his garment, and so shall you do for any lost article of your brother that may become lost from him and you find it; you will not be able to hide yourself" (Deuteronomy 22:1-3). The Talmud spends a great amount of time and effort detailing this mitzvah in the second chapter of Tractate Bava Metziah. But the last few words of the commandment needs clarification. The Torah tells us to return lost items and not to shirk our responsibility. But it does not tell us you are not allowed to hide, rather it tells us, "lo suuchal, you will not be able to hide." Why not? Who is stopping you? Surely Hashem does not intervene in our free choice to shun our responsibilities? The Chofetz Chaim travelled across Poland to distribute his works. Throughout his travels, he came across a variety of characters and experienced many incidents that he retold in his many lectures on Lashon Harah, and fear of Heaven. He recounted that once he was going in a wagon, when the driver saw an orchard with delicious fruit trees. The driver turned to his passenger and schemed. Listen, my friend. I am making a short detour. I am going into the field to help myself to some of that fruit. If anybody is watching me, let me know immediately. I don't want to get in trouble here!"

The man parked the wagon on the side of the road and stealthily moved toward the orchard with a small sack in his hand. He was about to fill it with the fine, pilfered fruit when the Chofetz Chaim shouted from the wagon, "Someone is watching!" The man quickly ran back to the carriage and meandered around as if he were just taking a rest. A few moments later, he snuck back into the orchard, and slowly made his way toward the fruit-laden trees. Once again, as he was about to snatch the fruit off the tree, he heard the old man shout! They're watching! They're watching!" This time the man dropped his sack and looked all around. He saw no one. Hands on his hips, he approached the wagon. "I don't see anyone! Who's watching?" he demanded. The Chofetz Chaim, shrugged, smiled, and rolled his eyes heavenward as he pointed his finger upwards. "He is!" he replied. As the saying goes, "you can run, but you can't hide." The Torah is telling you more than dos or don'ts. It is telling you what you can do, and what is virtually impossible for you to do. When you want to look away, and make it appear as if you do not see, the Torah, in addition to a prohibition, reminds him of the simple fact. Not only are you prohibited from making it appear as if you did not see, but in fact, "you cannot hide! You cannot look away." We sometimes forget that Hashem is everywhere and his vision is ever peripheral. We think He is focused on one place and is not interested in the tiny details of a man and a lost object. Such thinking is as silly as the story of the kids at a BarMitzvah, when the rabbi stacked a bunch of apples on one end of a table with a sign saying, "Take only one apple please G-d is watching." On the other end of the table was a pile of cookies where a friend of the barmitzvah boy had placed a sign on saying, "Take all the cookies you want - God is watching the apples." When it comes to involving ourselves in communal responsibilities whether it is returning lost souls or lost items, we may try to appear as if we do not know what is happening around us. We may act lost ourselves. But

www.torah.org • Rabbi Aaron Tendler, Ner Yisroel Baltimore

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T

here is nothing more disheartening than a curse. And this week the Torah singles out specific violations that are worthy of the epithet, "cursed is he who..." The Torah tells us that the nation was divided into two parts. Six tribes stood on Mount Grizim, and the rest stood on Mount Ebal. The Levites began to specify the sins that the Torah prefaced with the harsh warning, "accursed is one who," and the nation would respond amen. Included among the terrible crimes are one who moves his neighbors' boundary and one who misleads a blind man on the road. The curses also include carnal sins and striking a person covertly (Deuteronomy 27:12-25). In fact, almost each curse is directed toward a sin that entails some degree of surreptitiousness. All except the final curse, "Accursed is the one who does not uphold the words of the Torah to perform them" (Deuteronomy 27:26). Rashi explains the last admonition as a general warning to heed all the laws in the Torah lest one suffer the curses. The Ramban, however, softens Rashi's severe interpretation. He explains that the curse is not cast on one who actually commits a sin, but rather on those who scoff at the validity of the Torah's laws. Following his simple explanation, the Ramban writes something startling. "It appears to me that the words 'accursed is the one who does not uphold the words of the Torah' refers to one who is called upon to do the hag-

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bah ceremony in the synagogue and does not stretch out the Torah wide enough for the congregation to see the words." For years I was terribly disturbed by that explanation. I could not fathom the sense of comparison. How can the Ramban equate one who does a poor hagbah with those who surreptitiously undermine the welfare of their neighbor or create clandestine instability within the family? How can we attribute the harsh words of accursed to one who does not have what it takes to do a proper hagbah? On a whistle stop tour during his term in office Calvin Coolidge's train stopped in St. Louis where a crowd of nearly 2,500 people gathered to hear him. He was sleeping in his rail car when the train stopped at the station and Colonel Starling, Coolidge's personal assistant and agent-in-charge, nudged him awake. "Mr. President," he said while tapping him on the shoulder, "there are almost three thousand people who are waiting to hear you!" The remarkably restrained Coolidge and the first lady stepped out onto the train's observation platform. The crowd applauded wildly. Then the local master of ceremonies called for silence. "The President is about to speak now!" The President stood silently with his wide smile. He straightened his jacket and smoothed his hair and appeared very presidential. The crowd waited anxiously for him to begin his speech. The President waited, too. Just then, there was a hiss of air as the brakes were released and the train began pulling away from the station. The President, still smiling, raised his hand, waved, and spoke. He said, "Goodbye." Perhaps the Ramban is telling us more. When one displays the parchment of the Torah but does not unfurl the columns, he deprives a congregation of seeing the true essence of Torah. He parades with a Torah scroll with the shiny handles and the traditional parchment. It looks beautiful, and majestic. It even looks very Jewish. And the crowd waits for the real context to be shown and seen. But if those columns are not unfurled for the congregation to read, the stark reality of G-d's command is hidden behind the splendor of the moment. The one who does hagbah is in effect misleading the blind, sneaking a false border and making overt displays of honesty that are rife with deceit. For in reality a serious truth is being underhandedly hidden. And for that, the Ramban links him with the definitive consequences of those who morally deprave Torah ideals. Obviously, one who proudly unfurls the truth and tells the story as it appears, is worthy of the greatest blessings offered in the Torah. For there is no greater blessing than the open honesty and true teaching of Hashem's will. Lifting a Torah, unopened, in front of a waiting audience is nothing more than dissappointing an excited crowd who are waiting for a substantive speech. You may be waving enthusiastically, but all you are saying is goodbye. • by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky www.torah.org Rabbi Aaron Tendler, Ner Yisroel Baltimore

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To reflect on some of the following questions is quite apropos on this, the day of judgment:

1. When do I most feel that my life is meaningful? 2. How often do I express my feelings to those who mean the most to me? 3. Are there any ideals I would be willing to die for? 4. If I could live my life over, would I change anything? 5. What would bring me more happiness than anything else in the world? 6. What are my three most significant achievements since last Rosh Hashanah? 7. What are the three biggest mistakes I've made since last Rosh Hashanah? 8. What project or goal, if left undone, will I most regret next Rosh Hashanah? 9. If I knew I couldn't fail, what would I undertake to accomplish in life? 10.What are my three major goals in life? • What am I doing to achieve them? • What practical steps can I take in the next two months toward these goals?

11.If I could give my children only three pieces of advice, what would they be? 12. What is the most important decision I need to make this year? 13. What important decision did I avoid making last year? 14. What did I do last year that gave me the strongest feeling of self-respect? 15. When do I feel closest to God? 16. Do I have a vision of where I want to be one, three and five years from now? 17. What are the most important relationships in my life? 44

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S U RV I VA L K I T

The essential opportunity of Rosh Hashanah is to clarify for ourselves what our truest, "bottom line" priorities are in life. No time is more appropriate than today for asking ourselves some basic questions in order to clarify-and remind ourselveswhat is truly important to us and who we ultimately want to be.

THE ROSH HASHANAH

Jewish thinking relates to holidays as far more than commemorations of past events. Rosh Hashanah is certainly more than a Jewish January first.

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• Over the last year did those relationships become closer and deeper or was there a sense of stagnation and drifting? • What can I do to nurture those relationships this year?

18. If I could change only one thing about myself, what would that be? 19. If I could change one thing about my spiritual life, what would it be? On a scale of one to five (five being the highest), how important are the following to you? You cannot have more than three fives or three fours, and you must have at least two threes, two twos and two ones. 1.

Family

2.

Being well educated

3.

Making a contribution to my community

4.

Marriage

5.

Spirituality

6.

Being well liked

7.

Having a good reputation

8.

Financial success

9.

Being Jewish

10.

Peer recognition in my career or profession

11.

Personal fulfillment

12.

Helping other people

13.

Having a good Jewish education

14.

Making a contribution to humanity

15.

Achieving peace of mind

16.

Having children

17.

Living in the home of my dreams

18.

Acquiring self-knowledge

19.

Giving my children a strong Jewish identity

These questions can also be used at your family's holiday meals to create great conversation. Try going around the table and asking everyone to respond to one of the questions. This article is an excerpt from "Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur Survival Kit". This book masterfully blends wisdom, humor and down-to-earth spirituality. It's like having a knowledgeable friend sitting right next to you in the synagogue. Courtesy of torah.org

"Ask a Jew a Question..." 45

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T.A. A

(The

cronym)

The month of Elul is a month in which the love between the divine Groom and His bride Israel is at its height. This is alluded to by the fact that, in Hebrew, the first letters of the verse "I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me" (ani ledodi v'dodi li) spell the word Elul. It is significant that the acronym for Elul comes from the verse that describes a love that is initiated by the bride, rather than the verse ("My beloved is to me, and I am to him") in which the initial show of love comes from the groom. For despite its designation as a time for special closeness between G-d and man, Elul is a most "ordinary" month, conspicuously devoid of festivals and holy days (as opposed to the festival-rich month of Tishrei that follows it). Elul is not a time in which we are "lifted up" from our daily routine to the more spiritual atmosphere of a festival day; rather, it is a time in which we remain in our natural state as material beings inhabiting a material life. For the month of Elul, whose astral sign is the sign of betulah, is the month of the bride. Elul is a time when the initiative comes from our side of the relationship, and the divine response to our love is one that relates to us as finite, material beings and embraces our natural self and personality. • Based on the Lubavithcer Rebbe's talks on Av 27, 5750 (August 18, 1990) and on numerous other occasions. Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber.

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Next Time Call D.S.I.!!

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Ask Rabbi Jacobson

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C

aller: Hello Rabbi. Well, Hashem is "in the field" now that it's the month of Elul. My question is about the shofar and its connection with two parts: that there is wailing (this is a time for introspection, a time to look inside and to take a graphic look at what we were and how we spent the year) and there's the court of din and the court of mercy rachmanus. In terms of what shall be our pronouncement with the blowing of the horn and the different kind of ram horn and the shofar is that the Prosecutor that's ready to prosecute us gets very confused, and when he does that, Hashem goes into the court of mercy, and the bottom line is and with His love and His mercifulness, He gives us another look and shows His love for us. In other words, we go down in and do this work and we know that somehow at the end of Rosh Hashanah, we come out renewed as if it's the beginning of a new creation. My question is,where does the Akeidah come into this in terms of the ram's horn and the sacrifice? Jacobson: The Akeidah that Shifra is referring to is the binding of Isaac, when Abraham was told by G-d to bring Isaac as an offering. One of the reasons that we use a ram's horn is that instead of Isaac, Abraham saw that there was a ram caught in the bushes, and he offered the ram instead. And the ram is a memory, a zicoron, of the binding of Isaac, which is considered to be one of the greatest acts of faith in history. I would say briefly that when a person is committed to their soul, essentially they are ready to overcome any obstacle. It's true that it's a complicated and controversial question of how

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Abraham even considered to bring his son as an offering, but the point is that G-d never intended him to offer Isaac on the Akeidah. The intention was really to see if Abraham was truly committed all the way to G-d, to the point where he would even give up his love, so to speak, for his own son. So the fact is, the commitment to one's soul can make the entire difference in your life. The truth is, if you know what your calling is, then your life is not driven by the rhythms of social circles or other pressures outside of you. I often find people, who may be otherwise very intelligent, whose lives are really controlled by other people or, if not so much by other people, by a certain social trend. And that's a result of not having a grounding or an anchor of knowing your own calling. When you find someone who has really found their own personal voice, who knows what they're here for, there's nothing that can stop that, because they know that they're here for that purpose and everything in life becomes focused. You see sometimes a businessperson who's really invested in making his or her business successful. Everywhere they go, every person they meet at a party, at a social scene, in the religion scene, they're always looking to network and find how that person can help them in their business, which is a very interesting type of analogy. There it's business. But if you have your personal, spiritual higher calling, then everything you do becomes focused because you ask, "How does that help me fulfill what I have to do in this world?" which is really the Rosh Hashanah meditation and experience.

Toward a Meaningful Life with Rabbi Simon Jacobson. Radio Show Transcripts

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California Kosher Kitchen

SWEET BRISKET

INGREDIENTS 1 (5-7 LB) BRISKET, WASHED AND DRAINED 1/2 CUP OIL 1/4-1/2 CUP COCA-COLA 1/2 CUP DRY RED WINE 1/4 CUP HONEY 4-5 TBSP. KETCHUP 1 ONION 1/2 TSP. MUSTARD POWDER 1/2 TSP. PAPRIKA

DIRECTIONS 1. Chop onions and mix all seasonings in food processor and pour over brisket. Marinate overnight. 2. Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, loosely covered, until done, approximately 4 to 5 hours. 3. When cool, pour the gravy in a saucepan. Add 1 Tbsp. flour and cook until thickens. Pour this gravy over sliced meat when serving.

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Picture This! Leaders of the Eternal Jewish Family and the Council of European Rabbis met recently in London to discuss plans for a joint effort to promote universally accepted geyrus standards in intermarriage in Europe. Amongst the issues discussed was the establishment of botei din in several cities in Europe as well as a kolel that would focus on the halachos of geyrus.

Israel Police are recommending a criminal indictment against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Police are recommending an indictment pertaining to the Rishon Tours case and the Talansky cash envelopes. The indictment police feel this should include bribery, fraud and other charges.

Senior Hamas official in Gaza Muhmad Nasr announced the letter from Noam Shalit will be given to his son, IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, being held captive by Hamas since June 2006. The letter made its way to the terror organization via French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who received the letter from Mr. Shalit.

Pictures courtesy of www.theyeshivaworld.com

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Kosher Updates/Alerts Chivas Brothers Lochan Ora Liqueur - has recently changed its formulation and is now not Kosher. Wine from Israel - Please be aware that there is wine being sold at Liquor Outlets originating from Israel that does not bear any Kosher certification. Please be vigilant when purchasing wine and check that it bears a reliable Kosher certification. Vita Herring in Real Sour Cream (32 oz) - contains dairy ingredients as listed on the ingredient panel but the Dairy designation has been inadvertently omitted. The product is OU Dairy Non Cholov Yisroel. Future packaging will be revised. Terra Kettles Pesto & Smoked Mozzarella - a very limited amount was mislabeled Kof-K Parve. The is product is Dairy. Corrective measures are being taken. KOSHER INFORMATION BUREAU. 12753 CHANDLER BOULEVARD, NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA 91607.

Rabbi Eliezer Eidlitz, Rabbinic Administrator • Website: www.kosherquest.org

Friday, September 12, 2008 Light Candles at: 6:46 PM • Friday, September 19, 2008

Light Candles at: 6:36 PM • Friday, September 26, 2008

Light Candles at: 6:26 PM

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• Community Links Dining Guide • A Pizza World 365 S. Fairfax Ave. Tel: 323-653-2896 KosherPizzaWorld.com Best Nachos and Pizza in L.A.! Our roomy pizzeria seats up to 85. Delivery, eat in, or take out. ATTN: Tour groups, we can deliver to all the major attractions with ample notice. Open till 8:30 Bocca Steak House Kehilla & Bait Yosef Highest Quality Steaks. variety of Appetizers. Daily Lunch specials. Catering for all events. Wed/Bris/Bar-Bat Mitzvah etc. Light Entertainment. Full Bar: Wine Beer & Cocktails Shabbat Take-Out & Sunday Brunch 11-3 16610 Ventura Blvd, Encino Ca. 91436

818-905-5855 Brami’s Kosher Pizza 177361/2 Sherman Way, Reseda Tel:818-342-0611 Pizza, Pasta, Salads & more! “Best Pizza in Town” Sun-Mon10am-9pm Tues-Thur 10am-10pm Fri 10am-3pm after Shabbos-12:30 Cafe Elite 7115 Beverly Blvd. Tel: 323-936-2861 Breakfast, Lunch, Ice Cappuccino, Donuts, Bagels, Falafel, Salads and much more! For Catering Info 323-708-8161 Sun. - Thur. 6:30am - 6:30pm Fri. 6:30am - 3:00pm Chick 'n Chow 9301 W. Pico Blvd. Tel: 310-274-5595 See our menu at 774food.com - kosher L.A.'s Original Chinese & Fried Chicken Delivery, eat in, or take out. Shabbos Take-out available. ATTN: Tour groups, we can deliver to all the major attractions with ample notice. Open till 9:00 Elat Burger Rabbi Ben Zakan 9340 W. Pico Blvd. Tel: 310-278-4692 Lunch & Dinner,Burgers Kabobs & More! Always fresh never frozen Sun - Thur 10:30am - 10:30 pm Fri 10:30am - 3:00 pm

Fish in the Village 12450 Burbank Blvd. .Tel:818-769-0085 Fish Market & Restaurant Dine in or take out. Fresh,grilled,fried and Morrocan fish. Best in town! Lunch Special $5.99 Sun - Thur 10 am - 9 pm Fri 8 am - 2 hours Before Shabbos Golan Restaurant 13075 Victory Blvd. N. Hollywood Tel: 818-763-5344 Top 20 Restaurant, Wide Variety, Now Serving Sushi Sun-Thur 9am - 10pm Fri 9am - 3pm Gordon’s Fish Emporium 9116 W. Pico Blvd Tel: 310 276 6603 Hot lunches served daily Dine-in or take-out All world's cuisines have come together at Gordon's to create an unforgettable dining experience. Mon-Wed 8am-7pm; Thur 8am-9pm; Sun 10am-2pm Haifa Beit Yosef 8717 W. Pico Blvd Tel: 310-888-7700 Falafel, Schnitzel, Morrocan Fish & more We Specialize in Caterning Sun. - Thurs. 11:30am - 9:30pm Fri. Take out 9:30 am - Hr B4 Shabbos Hill Street Pizza 456 S. HIll Street (DOWNTOWNLA, corner of 5th & Hill) Tel: 213-627-9990 or 213-627-5495 R.C.C. & Cholov Yisroel Specialty Pizzas, Pastas, Salads, Wraps, & more. WE DELIVER AND CATER. Call for details. Mon-Thur: 9am - 6pm Fri 9am - 3pm Saturday: closed. Sunday: Closed during our introductory period. La Glatt 446 North Fairfax Ave. Tel: 323-658-7730 Restaurant, Deli, Shabbos take out, & Catering Shabbos Special for Four just $32.99. Metro Glatt 8975 W. Pico Blvd Tel: 310-275-4420 Hamburger or Chicken Burger or Falafel with Fries & Drink only $6.95 Sun. - Thurs 10am - 10pm, Fri. 10am - 1 hr. before Shabbos

On Fire Mediterranean Grill 707 Stanley Ave Tel: 323-655-7777 Our specialty is grilling you order to perfection Falafel, Shwarma, Rib Steak, Schnitzel, Fish, & much more. Mon. - Thurs. 10am - 11pm Fri. 10am-2 Hrs. before Shabbat. Sun 10am-Midnight Pizza Mayven 140 North La Brea Ave. Tel: 323-857-0353 Pizza, Mexican food, Salads & more. We Deliver!! Sun-Thurs 11am - 8:30pm Fri 11am- 2:30pm After Shabbos -12:00am Sassi Restaurant 15622 Ventura Blvd, Encino Tel: 818-986-5345 Mediterranean Restaurant, Catering, Private Parties Sun - Thurs. 11am-10pm Fri. 11am - 3pm Temptation Prime Bar & Grill 17547 Ventura Blvd, #109 Encino Tel: 818-995-4700 Tempt yourself to have Kosher steak at it’s best! Restaurant & full catering service. Dinner & Weekends only with prior reservations please. Unique Pastry & Cafe Rabbi A. Simkin 18381 Ventura Blvd. Tarzana Tel: 818-757-3100 Vegetarian style Cuisine. Cholov Yisroel Sun. - Thurs. 7:30am - 6pm Fri. 7:30am - 2 hours. before Shabbos Wholesome Pita 711-A Melrose Ave. Tel: 323-931-1116 Fine Mediterranean cuisine, Shwarma, Falafel, Fish on the grill, vegetarian combos. Pita bread baked fresh daily on premises. Sun - Thurs 11am - Midnight Fri. 11 am - 3:30pm If you would like to see your restaurant listed in The Community Links Dining Guide Please call us at 323-965-1544 or email us at calinks1@yahoo.com

The Community Links does not assume responsibility for any kashrus of any product or establishment, advertised in its pages.

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• Classified Ads • • PRINTING • ABI GRAPHICS. Printing, Copies, Invitations 524 N LA Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 323-930-0444. abigraphics@sbcglobal.net •MOHEL / BRIS • Traditional Ritual Circumcision, Certified Mohel R abbi Nachman B. Kr eiman Home (323) 934-9329 • Cell (323) 896-5098 180 South Highland Los Angeles, CA 90036 • BABY SITTER AVAILABLE • Orthodox woman available to watch your children full time or part time hours, at your location. Excellent references. call: 323-651-9389. • NEW KEHILLA• Kern Kehilla-Tehachapi Torah Center. New Torah Centered Community. Southern Sierra Outside Los Angeles. Healthy, Serene, Affordable, Child Friendly, Relax, Recharge, Vacation or Year Round, Davening times: Daily Shacharis: 15 minutes before sunrise Daily Mincha/Maariv: 15 min. before shkia Erev Shabbat/Yom Tov: Mincha: 5 min after candle lighting. Shacharit: 8:30 am. Mincha: 30 Min. before sunset. Week Day Learning Times: Daf Yomi after Shacharis and open Beis Medrash till Mincha. Halacha between Mincha & Maariv. Night Seder after Maariv till 10PM Glatt Kosher Food Service available. Sundays 10:00AM Tour De' Tehachapi: Daven, Open House, Hike, Torah Discussion, Park, Picnic, and or House Hunt. Twice the home for half the money. Suited for families, individuals of all ages, and existing Torah organizations. Erev Rosh Hashana Sept 18 BE'H start of regular minyan. 'Learn More' Roger M. 310-948-5137 /kernkehilla@att.nethttp://pearlmancta.com/kerncountykehilla.htm •TRAVELING NOTARY • Yosef Y. Shagalov: Traveling Notary Public & Home Signing Agent. Cell:(323)934-7095 •NOTARY • ABI NOTARY. Our location or your. 524 N. La Brea Av La, CA 90036. No appointments needed. Please call 323-930-0444.

• CAR FOR SALE • For sale Mercedes Benz 300E – Year 1990, White exterior and grey leather interior, excellent condition, 122,000 mileage. New brakes, tuned-up, ready to go. $3,500. Call Barry Polonsky 310.475.3669. Have pictures expertautorepair@ca.rr.com TOYOTA CAMRY LE for sale 1999. Only 64,000 miles, auto transmission, power locks & windows, AM/FM/tape. Recent tires, brakes. Great mpg. $6,450 OBO. Please write to Gila, geulam2000@yahoo.com • POSITION WANTED•

Orthodox woman available to watch your children full time or part time hours, at your location. Excellent references. Please call: 323-651-9389. • POSITION AVAILABLE• Shadow/Aide needed for a cute, lovable 4 year old girl with Down Syndrome, at a nursery program she will be attending for approximately 5 hours each morning. Good pay. Great opportunity! Call 323-549-9218 All boys school looking for part-time kindergarten teacher with the following qualifications: (a) Credential in Early Childhood Development (b) Teaching Experience (c) Familiarity with Open Court curriculum (d) professional, engaging and fun. School is also looking for a 7th/8th grade math assistant. Interested candidates may either FAX resumés to (323) 769-8204 attention: Mr. Aftandelian or e-mail resumés to aftandelian@hotmail.com. Be sure to express in your cover letter which position you are applying for. Educational Aide needed for our daughter who is entering 11th grade in the fall. Part time for Limudei Kodesh. Job involves some modification/adaptation of work. Must be reliable and patient. Please call 323 934-2448. Part-time office assistant at an advertising/sign store in Pico/Robertson area. Needs computer/internet knowledge. Must be organized, detail-oriented, efficient, and dependable. Please call 310-360-0610, or e-mail vitalsales@sbcglobal.net

Badatz West Coast Rabinical Council. Rabbi Gavriel Cohen: 323-939-0298

Part time assistant and driver needed for Automotive Shop. Must have valid license and insurance, with knowledge and experience working with cars. Please call Diane Polonsky at 310.402.3221. Salary based on experience

• CAR WANTED• We need a car/minivan donated in working condition tax deduction provided if need it JLA (Judios Latino Americanos)Please call 323-930-0444.

Fun, Frum and Fabulous. Looking for efficient sales girl with great people skills, and take charge attitude for retail sales position. Please call 323-864-2641.

• BEIS DIN •

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September 12

• TO ADVERTISE PLEASE CALL

Looking for a male kosher chef to cook for a men's facility, lunch and dinners. Please contact Kovi at 323 965-1365 or Fax your resume to 323 965-044 if you are interested. • MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS• Ariel Louk & Orchestra. From One-Man to Full Orchestra. 310-659-9346 or 323-997-2647 loukmusic@sbcglobal.net. Bringing joy to communities for over 18 years • GEMACH• Gemach currently looking for clothes, Wigs, hats, furniture, dry food, etc in very good condition. Please Call Kayla 323-934-2380 • SUKKAH BUILDING • Looking for someone to build you a sukkah, or custom design one? Call Yossi Parry at 310-383-2641 •OFFICE SPACE• Office Space Available inside our store La Brea & Beverly Inquiries please call 323-930-0444 • FOR RENT • Looking for female to share a 2 bedroom 2 bath apt. on Beverly Drive. You will have your own private bedroom, bath, parking & washer & dryer. Rent is $975.00. Call Pessie at 310-4861817 or 310-788-3807 Newly remodeled room for rent in Pico/Robertson for a young, clean, independent orthodox woman. Private bathroom and entrance. Starting in September. Walking distance to shuls and restaurants. 310-204-6161 Beautiful new one and two-bedroom apartments available in Pico-Robertson area for lease. Granet ounter tops, Dishwasher, stove, washer and dryer, microwave, private security system. For info. call Jacob Shadrooz (broker) 310-777-0436 Small frum family has a furnished room with private bathroom & entrance in our spacious home in Pico/Robertson. We prefer a frum, young female student who is clean, neat and independent. Plentiful parking; close to bus, shops, shuls. $800 incl. utilities. For more info, please call Gila: (310) 204-6161 A four-unit income property in a great location in Pico-Roberton area, Beverly Hills adjacent, available for sale. Great opportunity for the first time buyer. For info pls call Jacob Shadrooz(broker) at 310-777-0436.

323-965-1544 •

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September 12

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323-965-1544 •

calinks@sbcglobal.net


63

September 12

• TO ADVERTISE PLEASE CALL

323-965-1544 •

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Join Chabad of the Conejo as we start the New Year off with a most inspiring, delightful and relaxing

HiJ Holiday Services & Retreat at the

Hyatt Westlake Plaza Hotel

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First Class Accomodations Glatt Kosher Gourmet Meals By Embassy Caterers Special Hotel Room Rates and Late Check Out Available Popular Meaningful Youth Programs and Jr. Congregation Community Tashlich Walk to Lake Inspiring and “Walk-Free” Yom Kippur at Hyatt

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818-991-0991 COMMUNITY LINKS PO BOX 481153 LOS ANGELES, CA 90048

800-933-6460


Community Links LA 115