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Vol. 9 Issue 209

June 15 -June 29, 2012

Our goal at MasterMind LA is for every child to feel happy, confident, and successful. With this aim in mind our Teacher Development Workshops challenge participants to teach Judaic subjects using multisensory learning techniques to enhance their ability to engage every student in the classroom. ti or Rabbi Jonathan Riet at uc ed d ne w no -re ld or Workshops given by w

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For F or more more iinformation nformation pplease lease visit www . stermindla.orgg 323.761.0824  nfo@ma o@m o

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June 15 , 2012

Next Advertising Deadline June 22, 2012 Circulation June 29, 2012 Media Kit & Pricing 323.965.1544 Email News & Press Releases Virtual Subscription


The True Meaning Of Strength

Strong is not mean. It is not ok to demean our children, they don’t belong to us, they are not our property, they are a gift from G-d and they are our responsibility. Rabbi Dr. Jerry Lob

Minority Truths


Although we may be staunch believers in the democratic process, clearly, there will be times when the minority is right. Rabbi Yossy Goldman

THE COMMUNITY LINKS is published biweekly and is distributed free to the Jewish Community of Southern California. THE COMMUNITY LINKS accepts no responsibility for typographical errors or reliability of Kashrus of any advertisers. All submissions become the property of THE COMMUNITY LINKS and may be shortened and/or edited for length and clarity. Articles published in THE COMMUNITY LINKS express the views of the individual writers and may not necessarily represent the views of THE COMMUNITY LINKS. No artwork or any part of the magazine may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without the written permission of the publisher.


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THE TRUE MEANING OF STRENGTH By Rabbi Dr. Jerry Lob Parents often struggle with their roles as the heads of the family. Many years ago I met with a very successful businessman. He was the CEO of a large corporation, with companies across several states, employing hundreds. He was in a great deal of emotional pain and he appeared confused as well. I’m paraphrasing here, but his complaint went something like this: “I don’t understand, I have all these employees that work for me, I run a highly profitable enterprise, and yet my children don’t listen to me, and my family seems to be falling apart.” He described a highly dysfunctional situation, with several of his children involved in behaviors ranging from inappropriate to illegal and even scary, and a marriage that was filled with bickering and unhappy silences. He felt lonely and alone in his family. After meeting with him several times, it became clear that he was attempting to run his family in the same way he ran his business. I told him that he’s a good CEO, but the CEO model is a terrible and ineffective model for a family, “you can’t be a CEO to your children, you can’t be a CEO to your wife. It works with your employees because if they don’t submit, you fire them. Basically, you are managing with the ongoing threat of dismissal, management 12

by intimidation. This, when applied to your family, is toxic, because in families one of the essential goals is forming and nurturing a relationship, a relationship that is based on trust. Intimidation is a clear contradiction to trust building.” What is a marriage without trust, the basic trust that I have that you will not harm me, threaten me, or intimidate me? What, too, is the meaning of family without that same trust? The successful CEO was living a life alone because he had succeeded in creating an atmosphere of terror in his home. His children and his wife were terrified of him. You can’t nourish trust, warmth, closeness, connection, and certainly, intimacy, in this environment. Instead, you nurture distrust, disconnection, resentment, and eventually, even hatred. We, as parents, struggle with our role. Families are not democracies. Children don’t have an equal vote. Parents must make decisions and rules, and are responsible for creating a structure, with expectations such as chores, healthy boundaries, and definitions of acceptable behavior. Parents must build a home, a home that is safe for all its members. Parents who are too soft are being irresponsible.

June 15, 2012 • 323-965-1544 •

So, it’s really a monarchy, so to speak, a monarchy, but not a dictatorship with its connotation of uncaring tyranny. What we’re really looking for is a gentle monarchy, founded on the premise that its leaders love and respect each other, love and cherish each child, and express these feelings clearly, in words, touch, smile, and other ways. But, let us not forget that even with all this warmth, love, and cherishing, it is, nonetheless, still a monarchy. Parents need to be confident, strong, and assertive. The problems arise when strong is confused with mean/intimidating, assertive is confused with aggressive, and confident is confused with arrogant. Parents will sometimes come across as “allknowing” as in “we are the parents and therefore we automatically know better than you do.” It’s more effective (and more true) to communicate the idea that “we know that we’re not perfect and may be making a mistake, but it is still our responsibility to set the rules. And even if when you are a parent you decide to do it differently, that’s ok, but for now, we’ll do it this way.” Strong is not mean. It is not ok to demean our children, they don’t belong to us, they are not our property, they are a gift from G-d, and they are our respon-


sibility. When children say to me, “my mother is mean to me, she makes fun of me to my siblings, she embarrasses me by shouting at me in front of my friends,” it breaks my heart. Because I know that when we’re not careful of our child’s dignity, we do damage to the relationship, and sometimes the damage is irreparable. The true meaning of strength is inner strength, as in the quote from Ethics of the Fathers: “Who is strong, one who conquers and controls his own impulses.” Strength is not the ability to intimidate others so they comply with what I want. Strength is the ability to control my own anger, my need to win, my desire to dominate, and to focus on the human being who is in front of me, my child, and to respond, sometimes strongly, but with deliberation and great patience, and love. True strength goes hand in hand with humility. External strength breeds fear and divisiveness, inner strength repairs injuries and helps build happy families Dr. Lob is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Chicago, working with adults, adolescents, and families, for many years. He lectures and writes extensively on topics relating to psychology, relationships, parenting, education, and Jewish thought.

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MINORITY TRUTHS By Rabbi Yossy Goldman

PARSHAS SHELACH In democracies as well as in Jewish Law, majority rules. Abeit din (court of Torah law) must always consist of an odd number of judges, so that there should always be a majority opinion. But the fact is, sometimes the majority gets it wrong. The story in this week’s Torah reading, of the twelve spies sent by Moses to the Promised Land, is a case in point. Only two of the dozen, Joshua and Caleb, remained faithful to their leader, to the purpose of their mission and to G-d’s assurance that it was a good land. The other ten spies went awry. The spies were sent on a reconnaissance mission to determine how best to approach the coming conquest of the land of Canaan. Instead of doing what they were sent to do—to suggest the best way forward—ten of the twelve spies brought back a negative report that was designed to intimidate the people and discourage them from entering a ferocious “land that devours its inhabitants,” and which signed off with the categorical conclusion that “we cannot ascend.” The people responded accordingly. They cried out to Moses, lamenting their very departure from Egypt. So G-d decreed that

this generation was not worthy of His precious Promised Land. Furthermore, this day of weeping, on which they cried for no good reason, would become a day of tears for generations. Indeed, our sages explain, this occurred on the Ninth of Av, the day that would become a day of mourning for the destruction of our Holy Temples and many other national calamities throughout history. Now, the question I’d like to pose here is: why did the people not follow the two good spies, Joshua and Caleb, instead of the others? The obvious answer: they were outvoted and outnumbered. Ten vs. two—no contest. Majority rules. Tragically, though, they backed the losers. And the result was an extended vacation in the wilderness for them, and a tragedy for all of us to this day. So, although we may be staunch believers in the democratic process, clearly, there will be times when the minority is right. The saintly Rabbi Yisroel Meir HaKohen Kagan, better known as the “Chafetz Chaim,” was once challenged by a fellow Jew who was a somewhat educated cynic. “Rabbi,” he argued,

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“doesn’t the Torah itself say that we must follow the majority? Well, the overwhelming majority of Jews today are not religious. So you religious Jews must come over to our way of thinking!” The Chafetz Chaim replied with a story. “Recently, I had occasion to be traveling by coach back home from an important trip. En route, the coachman distributed generous helpings of vodka to his passengers to keep them warm and content. The coachman, too, helped himself to much more vodka than he should have. “When we came to a crossroads, there was confusion as to which way to turn. Most people argued that the left road was the correct path. I was one of the only sober passengers on board, and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that we needed to take the road to the right. So I ask you, my friend, should I too have followed the majority? They were hopelessly drunk and their was judgment impaired. Thank G-d, I prevailed.” All too often, the values and judgment calls of “the world” are simply wrong. No matter how outnumbered moral people may be, we will continue to follow the path of decency and sanity. We Jews have never played the numbers game. Always, we have been the smallest of nations. We are known not for our majority, but for our morals. Not so long ago—I think it was at the time of the fictitious Jenin “massacre”—Kofi Anan questioned, “Can it be that the whole world is wrong and Israel is right?” Guess what. He was spot-on. The whole world was wrong and Israel was right. There simply was no massacre. My wife has taught high school for many years. Once, a former student of hers asked if she could speak to her privately. She needed some guidance. She was now a young woman, and everyone was telling her she was crazy for insisting that she have no intimate relations before her wedding. She sought my wife’s affirmation that she hadn’t lost her sanity.

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All too often it is the world that is stark raving meshuga, veering drunkenly out of control. It takes substantial strength of character to resist the pull of the drunken majority. May G-d aid us to be men and women of stature, of spirit. May we be inspired with the courage to stand up and be counted, even if it means being that lone voice in the wilderness. Otherwise, we may never get to our destination. By Rabbi Yossy Goldman. Senior Rabbi of the Sydenham Highlands North Shul since 1986, and president of the South African Rabbinical Association.

June 15, 2012 • 323-965-1544 •


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ents: Mastermind LA pres

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MasterMind M asterM Mind L LA A teacher teacher development dev workshops learning, discussion with colleagu gue by veteran educator Raabbi Jonath g t teacherss. Our goal is to challenge enhance their students’ learning ng exp ex

Day 1


WORKSHOP W ORKSHOP 1 9:30AM 9:30AM  12:00 12:00PM PM TTOPIC: OPIC: LIVING TEFI TEFILA LA 1. History History of Tefila Tefila e Purpose 2. P urpose and goals Messages Meaning 3. M essages and it’s it’s M eaning 4. Six Building Blocks tto o Build ‘Living Tefila’ Tefila e ’ skills skills 5. Scope Scope and Sequence: Sequence: 1st - 7th grade grade

W WORKSHOP ORKSHOP 2 1:00PM 1:00PM  3:30 3:30PM PM TTOPIC: OPIC: LLASHON ASHON HHATORAH ATORAH PART PPAR A T 1 1 1. LLetter etter R Recognition ecognition 2. V Vowel owel R Recognition ecognition 3. Blending 4. Reading Reading Accurately Accurately 5. R Reading eading Fluently Fluently

Day 3


WORKSHOP W ORKSHOP 5 9:30AM 9:30AM  12:00 12:00PM PM TTOPIC: OPIC: LLASHON ASHON HHATORAH ATORAH PART PPAR A T 2 2 1. V Vocabulary ocabulary 303 2. P Prefixes refixes 3. Suffix Suffixes es 4. D Decoding ecoding 5. Analysis Analysis

WORKSHOP W ORKSHOP 6 1:00PM 1:00PM  3:30PM 3:30PM TTOPIC: OPIC: CONTEXTUAL CONTEXTUAL LEARNING Gives Gives the the student student the the big big picture picture and and context context ooff aallll hhis/her is/her future education taking journeyy future Torah Toorah educa tion bbyy tak ing him/her on a visual journe through History thr ough the 6,000 years years e of World Wo orld H istory based on 43 43 key key events. Ass the child contemplates all-encompassing ev vents. A contemplates this allencompassing view history, answer of hist ory, he/she can answ er to to him/herself: him/herself: ‘Where ‘Where am I in time?’‘Where ‘Where do I come come from?’ from?’‘What ‘What happened happened before beffor o e me?’ world Jew?’ ‘‘Where Where is the w orld leading?’‘‘Why Why am I a rreligious eligious Je w?’

Morning Morning Session Session Afternoon Afternoon S Session 9:30am -12:00pm 1:00 pm - 3 Location Location

Day 2


WORKSHOP W ORKSHOP 3 9:30AM 9:30AM  12:00 12:00PM PM TTOPIC: OPIC: THE “HOW’S” “HOW’S” OF M MEMORIZING EMORIZING 1. A Acquiring cquiring Information Inffor o mation 2. Organizing Organizing Files Files 3. Associate Associate 4. R Recall ecall

W WORKSHOP ORKSHOP 4 1:00PM 1:00PM  3:30 3:30PM PM MEMORY TTOPIC: OPIC: CHUMASH CHUMASH M EMORY SSYSTEM YSTEM A simple sy system stem ffor or o memor mem memorizing izing all the chapters chapters in Chumash, along with the essential essential inf information fo ormation of each chapter. chapter. This This system system is an excellent excellent complement complement tto o ac actual tual Chumash learning, learning, boosting the student’s student’s self-esteem self f-esteem and cconfidence onfidence in his own own memory memory as he learns learns the outline of the entire entire Chumash. Chumash.

Day 4


WORKSHOP W ORKSHOP 7 9:30AM 9:30AM  12:00 12:00PM PM TTOPIC: OPIC: IINTEGRATED NTEGRATED CURRICULUM CURRICULUM PART PPAR A T 1 1 S Six ix Days Days of Creation Creation Da Dayy 1: Univ Universe erse - Science Science 1. Gravity Gravity 2. Light Light Da Dayy 2 and 3: W Water, aterr, Lan Land and O Oceans ceans - Geography Geography 1. Land FForms orms 2. W Working orking of W Water ater

WORKSHOP WORKSHOP 8 1:00PM 1:00PM  3:30PM 3:30PM TTOPIC: OPIC: IINTEGRATED NTEGRATED CURRICULUM CURRICULUM PART PPAR A T 2 2 Da Dayy 4: Sun, Moon Moon and Stars Stars - A Astronomy stronomy Da Dayy 5: Bir Birds ds and FFish ish - Zoology Zoology Da Dayy 6: Animals, Animals, IInsects, nsects, Vegetation Vegetation and M Man an 1. L Language anguage 2. Math Math 3. History History 4. G Genealogy enealogy 5. M Money oney 6. Government Government 7. T Trade rade

Registration Information

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Cost: Co st: $45.00 - per works k hop $165.00 - your choice of four works kh $295.00 - attend all eight works k ho

June 15, 2012 • 323-965-1544 •


Summer Natural First Aid Kit By Sara

When people walk into a health food store, most are overwhelmed by the amount of products that are available to them and they are confused about which products to spend their money on. When I teach classes on ‘natural’ medicine, one thing I make sure to do is to teach my students which products are worth buying and which products are not. Unfortunately, lots of natural products are just big ‘hype’ with very little return. In contrast, I have mentioned below two of my favorite products that are really beneficial to have in the house during the summer months (and all year around).

French green clay- is presently marketed as a ‘facial mask’ but herbalists have been using pure, healing clays for centuries. The green clay is best used to alleviate the pain associated with mosquito bites, diaper rash, and kitchen burns. This clay can either be used directly as a powder, or mixed with a few drops of water and make into a paste. For: • Mosquito bites-put a ½ teaspoon of green clay in a cup and add a few drops of water till the clay begins to stick together, forming a paste. Scoop up the paste and spread it over the bite. When the clay dries it might begin to crumble off; so if the bite is still painful you can spread another layer of clay over the existing one, and you can continue layering as needed. The green clay will help to pull out the toxins, reduce inflammation and soothe the skin.


Chana, IBCLC, RA (AHG)

• Kitchen burns-the paste form is also used and in the same way it was used for mosquito bites. If the green clay paste is put on the burn right away, it will often heal quicker and without leaving that annoying brown mark on the skin. • Diaper rashes-are treated using the clay in its powdered form-do not make it into a paste. At every diaper change sprinkle the green clay as you would baby powder. This clay is especially helpful for those diaper rashes that are caused by an overgrowth of yeast. The clay smothers the yeast and heals the skin.

Freeze-dried nettle-is a food herb that is beneficial for people of all ages—from children to the elderly. It is called a ‘food-herb’ because people throughout the world make the nettle into a soup or use it in a salad. Nettles are filled with many vital nutrients and are packed with important trace minerals that are often difficult to acquire in our food today because of processing. Nettles can be found and used in various forms, including: tea, tincture, and capsule. Most herbs do not stay fresh in capsule form; however, nettles in the freeze-dried form are one of the rare exceptions. Another important quality of the nettle is that it does not conflict with most prescription medication (but please consult with a proficient herbalist if you are concerned). For: •Allergies and colds-freeze dried nettles have a natural June 15, 2012 • 323-965-1544 •

antihistamine helping rid the body of extra mucous while reducing the inflammation in the nasal passages associated with nasal congestion. In clinical studies, nettles have been shown to clear the nasal passages as well as over the counter antihistamines. The difference between conventional medicine and nettles is that many medicines are formulated to stay in the body for twenty-four hours, while nettles must be taken throughout the day; however, when taking herbs you never feel any of the side-effects associated with antihistamines like dry eyes and throat and grogginess. The suggested dosage for freeze-dried nettle is: two capsules taken three times a day for teens and adults. For younger children, from a half of a capsule to a full capsule taken once or twice a day is a sufficient dosage. If a child cannot swallow a capsule, you can easily open it and pour the green powder into applesauce or yogurt.


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• Pregnancy-freeze-dried nettles are a wonderful pick-me-up from that weak and fatigued feeling, due to their easily absorbable nutrients—one of which is iron; which is so helpful with anemia. It is especially beneficial for women who are not finding the time to eat as many salads as they need to. • Traveling-during summer travel many people have trouble adjusting to new time zones, new water and new foods. Nettles can help keep up your strength by providing easily absorbable vitamins. Normally the body needs to have a lot of stomach acid and a well-functioning digestive system in order to properly digest conventional vitamins, but when people travel they are often stressed and nervous and can usually feel that tension in their stomachs—as it affects their digestion. Since nettles are so easy to absorb, you will still reap their benefit during such stressful times. I am constantly getting e-mails from my clients about their pleasing experiences with green clay and nettles.So if you have always been interested in adding alternative products into your lives, or are just looking for a few new products to have in your collection, these two products are: reasonably priced, both safe and highly effective, and easy to carry in your purse, keep in your car and have in your home. Sara Chana Silverstein, IBCLC RH (AHG) is a Lactation Consultant, Classical Homeopath, and Registered Herbalist with twentyyears of experience. She migrates from New York and spends her summers in Los Angeles seeing clients from newborns to the elderly. She helps with all medical conditions and specializes in woman’s and children’s health. She can be reached at 917-587-0262 or June 15, 2012 • 323-965-1544 •



Cutting-edge classes and seminars in building healthy, respectful parenting skills. Bond and connect with your child. Support social, motor and cognitive development for infants, toddlers and families. Infant Play: Calm, uninterrupted interaction for your young child with other babies and appropriate objects. Reflect: Invaluable opportunity for parents to observe, discuss, and share new insights.

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As an Herbalist & Homeopath she can help with: ALL PREGNANCY & POST-PARTUM ISSUES ALL MOTHER/BABY ISSUES SUCH AS: • EAR INFECTION • STREP INFECTIONS • THRUSH & FUNGAL PROBLEMS • COLIC, STOMACH PAINS, INDIGESTION • EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES Sara Chana is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Classical Homeopath and Herbalist


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June 15, 2012 • 323-965-1544 •

June 15, 2012 • 323-965-1544 •


Questions Have Answers Answers Don’t Have Answers Parshas Korach R’ Ben Tzion Shafier-The Shmuz “Korach the son Yizhar, son of Kahas, son of Levi, separated himself with Dathan and Aviram, the sons of Eliav, and On of Peleth, the offspring of Reuvain.” — Bamidbar 16:1 Korach’s rebellion

“Does that make sense?” Korach demanded. “A garment that is made completely of wool requires only one strand of techeiles, and yet you say that a garment made completely of techeiles needs additional techeiles. It is impossible!”

The parshah opens up with Korach gathering together 250 men of stature and mounting a rebellion against Moshe and HASHEM.

The entire group began laughing at Moshe, and with this Korach launched his revolt.

Rashi explains that Korach’s motivation was jealousy; he felt that he should have been appointed to the position of Nasi of his shevet, and was seeking revenge. Even though Moshe Rabbeinu was commanded by HASHEM to appoint Elizaphan Ben Uziel to that position, Korach felt that Moshe made this decision on his own, and he set out to depose him. He would prove that Moshe was saying things in the name of HASHEM that HASHEM never told him to say.

It seems clear from the Medrash that Korach’s strategy was to ask a question so powerful that Moshe wouldn’t be able to answer it. This would prove that what he said couldn’t be from HASHEM. The difficulty with this Rashi is: what is so potent about the question that Korach asked? It might well be that a garment made of plain wool requires tzitzis with one strand of techeiles, and that a garment made completely of techeiles still requires tzitzis with a strand of techeiles in it. The question doesn’t seem particularly plaguing.

To prove his point, Korach gathered 250 leaders of the Jewish people and gave each one a tallis made completely out of techeiles. (A tallis requires only one strand of the tzitzis to be dyed the purple/blue color of techeiles.) Korach brought this group in front of Moshe and asked, “If someone has as a garment made completely of techeiles, is he obligated to put tzitzis on it?” Moshe answered, “He is obligated.”


Korach’s question wasn’t that powerful

Furthermore, if Korach wanted to ask questions, there are far more difficult questions that he could have asked. The Medrash tells us that Shlomo Ha’Melech couldn’t understand the system of the parah adumah. The purpose of the parah adumah is to purify the person sprinkled with its ashes. Why should the Kohain who sprinkles the ashes become impure by doing it? If it is an act that purifies, how can it make the one doing the act impure? This is an enigma. Surely if Korach were looking to find an unanswerable question to disprove Moshe, he could have June 15, 2012 • 323-965-1544 •

asked this or many other difficult questions. What was so unanswerable about the techeiles question that it caused 250 Torah scholars to laugh at Moshe’s answer? The answer is based on understanding how bias blinds the mind of man. Questions have answers; answers have no answers Rav Chaim Volozhin was once approached by a student who had left the yeshiva. This was at a time when the Enlightenment was in full swing, and many young, impressionable yeshiva students were struck by the lure of modern studies’ promise to fulfill all of mankind’s needs. The Torah’s ways were seen as archaic and outdated; science alone could provide the answers to all that ailed the world. This student, after having been outside the yeshiva for a while, wanted to return. “I want to come back,” he told Rav Chaim, “but I have many questions.” Rav Chaim asked him, “Did these questions come to you when you were in yeshiva or after you left?” The boy innocently asked, “What difference does it make? These are questions that I have.” Rav Chaim responded, “If these questions troubled you before you left yeshiva, they are questions, and for questions I have answers. However, if these questions only began troubling after you left yeshiva, then they aren’t questions; they are answers. For answers, I have no answers.” Bias blinds a man Rav Chaim was explaining a basic principle in man: that bias greatly affects our ability to understand. If a person has a prejudice against a way of thinking, then he isn’t open-minded and he becomes incapable of hearing the truth, no matter how clear and no matter how obvious – he just isn’t listening. To allow for free will, HASHEM gave man this uncanny ability to shut his mind

down, to ignore all proofs and all logic and to blindly follow his desires. When a man has made up his mind and doesn’t want to hear the truth, there is nothing that can prove him wrong. His mind is shut. This seems to be the answer to understanding Korach’s question. Korach wasn’t approaching Moshe to seek the truth; his sole intention was to mock and discredit Moshe. With that mindset, the strength of the question and whether there was an answer to it didn’t matter. There was no question, only scorn and derision in the guise of a question. It was a question that had no answer because it wasn’t a question – it was an answer. This concept has great relevance in our lives. There will be times when we are perplexed by situations that we don’t understand. We don’t know which way to turn, and the answers that we seek aren’t forthcoming. It may well be that we can’t find the answer, but sometimes when the answer eludes us, it’s not because the answer isn’t there, but because we aren’t listening. Sometimes the answer may be right there, but we aren’t open to it, and so we can’t hear it. It’s not that there aren’t answers; it is that we aren’t asking questions. HASHEM created man with a heart of truth, and if a person puts aside his bias and opens his mind, he is capable of hearing the answer. The key to the process is to ask himself one pointed question: what is the truth? Forget my self-interest; forget the consequences; what is the right path? What does HASHEM want me to do? If a person follows this process, his inner sense will guide him past the darkness and he will be able to find the truth. For more on this topic please listen to Shmuz #168 - Emunah .“The Shmuz”, an engaging and motivating Torah lecture that deals with real life issues is available for FREE at The new Shmuz book: Stop Surviving and Start Living is now in print! “Powerful”, “Thought Provoking”, “Life changing”, is what people are saying about it. Copies are now available in stores, or at, or by calling 866-613-TORAH (8672).

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Community Links Issue 209_June 15  

Los Angeles Jewish Community bi-weekly Magazine June 15-June19