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THE COMMUNITY LINKS is published bi-weekly 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 permissions of the publisher.

When Shuls Go Bankrupt

A main problem with these trends is that a congregation does not face reality until often it is too late. Shul leaders fail to act decisively as the congregations do not continue to have the level of support and activity to remain as a functioning congregation. Dr. Robert Rome


The Paradox of Gollus

When the teacher starts breaking down the idea and really working it within his mind, he will barely be able to teach at all. Rabbi Reuven Wolf


The Nine Days

Heightened Mourning, Uplifting Visions & Rejoicing with Mitzvot.


Don’t Forget

Often when it comes to our actions, we forget the principles that we were taught as youngsters, but we remember them when chiding our children and pontificating. Rabbi Mordechai Kaminetsky Parshas Va’Eschanan

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By Robert J. Rome, Ph.D.

When Shuls Go Bankrupt


here was a small article virtually hidden in the July 2 edition of the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. The story described how a synagogue in Agoura Hills had gone bankrupt after the mortgage lender apparently would not permit any more delayed payments.

This had been a congregation of hundreds of families. It was once a thriving, vibrant community in an expanding Jewish population center. But in these harsh economic times, even formerly successful congregations are not immune to the economy. In the past 20 years, we have witnessed the loss of previously leading congregations, either through the Shuls disbanding or


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merging with other congregations. Once thriving synagogues have seen a dramatic loss of membership and/or attendance. Some Shuls with paid-off buildings and properties have “stayed in business” with dramatically lower attendance. But even those without economic woes have seen little reason to continue as their memberships have aged and newer Shuls have emerged nearby. A main problem with these trends is that a congregation does not face reality until often it is too late. Shul leaders fail to act decisively as the congregations do not continue to have the level of support and activity to remain as a functioning congregation. Few recognize “the writing on the wall” until it is too late. Attendance keeps dropping. Donations tail off. Activities are curtailed or downscaled. Then the congregation is faced with possible closure with little to do. We see many newer trends among the Shuls. For example, rather than synagogues of the past which united Jews of different backgrounds, there came to be a surge in Sephardic communities for Moroccan or other groups. Some congregations have sought out the unaffiliated or the Baalei T’shuvah, newly religious. Chabad Shuls have sprung up every two to three miles, often with storefront operations. “Black hat” synagogues grew up in previously modern Orthodox communities. Persian synagogues reunited families from the cities of origin in Iran. While a few big congregations remained, most of the new Shuls were limited in their space and what they could offer. Congregations with shrinking populations and substantial buildings or property merged out of existence with nearby Shuls and sold off their assets. Congregations in expanding areas of Jewish population built new buildings on small properties or took over storefront operations. Even in places of expanding population, some


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congregations have still gone bankrupt. There is another disturbing trend. Adult children as they marry do not want to go to their parents’ “aging” synagogues. Communities that could support one major congregation often have 7 or 8 tiny Shuls, including synagogues separated by age, ethnic origin, type of prayerbook, etc. Even when synagogues stay fairly large, the congregations are divided in other ways as some demand a separate minyan on Shabbat, such as an early 7:00 a.m. Shabbat service for those who wish. Some congregations never have their members in one place at one time. What can be done? Should anything be done?


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We have also seen some additional disturbing trends. Just 25 years ago, virtually every synagogue had a paid Chazan or Cantor. A Cantor is no longer seen as necessary. Some of the storefront congregations have no youth groups. Many congregations that have had vibrant senior lunch programs have closed, with seniors frequently left with nowhere to go in the Jewish community. The congregations that continue are often devoid of key features taken for granted in previous times.

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We have now a case of “the rich” versus “the poor.” You will see multiple ads or announcements of programs at the same four or five congregations, while 100 other congregations will never be mentioned. Many storefront operations have little beyond daily and Shabbat minyanim. We also see disturbing trends of communities divided by average age. Synagogues which thrived in the 1990’s now find themselves with an aging population and without the families with young

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children. Reasons for establishing new congregations are plentiful. The new Rabbi of a certain congregation is a great teacher. “That’s where all the young couples go.” They start earlier. They start later. They are an outreach synagogue meeting in the local church. They play guitars. They have a quicker service. The Rabbi speaks too long. The Rabbi doesn’t speak at all. These and other reasons have been cited as reasons to establish a new congregation. As many leave an existing Shul, there often is not a substantial enough fundraising base to continue to support many programs that had been in the previously larger, but now shrinking congregation. The newer congregations do not have enough financial base to provide many of the basics we have come to expect in a synagogue. The trends we are seeing can easily lead to more congregations going bankrupt or ceasing operation. And our children do not see the kind of thriving communities that we experienced in past decades throughout Los Angeles. Other communities in the United States have faced these same kinds of predicaments. They have responded in ways that permitted Shuls to continue even when the population was shrinking or changing. Their creative responses have led in other cities to much higher rates of synagogue membership and attendance. Sharing of programs and resources has led to a better funding base for many congregations in these cities. Some Jewish communities have responded to the needs they confront in some very positive ways. In some cities, various Jewish communities do not see themselves in competition. They buy properties together where they may share parking lots, security,

and other resources. Sharing expenses and resources helps to maintain all of these communities. In many cities, there are communitybased Talmud Torah programs. Providing for a quality after-school Hebrew School can be expensive and difficult as there may not be enough qualified teachers and as to have such a school, costly building space is required. When Shuls pull together to co-sponsor Hebrew schools, senior programs, or youth programs, each Shul gets the benefits of the shared programming with far less expense. Similarly, when communities pull together to co-sponsor day schools, the day schools can thrive with less community money spent. In the early 1980’s, a number of prominent Jewish leaders contacted me. At that time, I was the Rabbi of the largest (though still small congregation with under 200 families) synagogue in North San Diego County. One of the leaders who contacted me had been the Chair of the United Jewish Appeal of Canada before retiring to the La Costa area. These leaders and I discussed an exciting proposal. Get a site in the Carlsbad area (and one was available) where Reform and Conservative Temples and possibly an Orthodox congregation could share space with a branch of the Jewish Community Center, a branch of the Jewish Home for the Aging, and a branch campus of the community day school. All of the groups could share a common parking lot, a gym, a pool, and classrooms and meeting spaces. There could be apartments for seniors rimming the complex as well. This was an exciting option. There was even money pledged toward doing the project. However, the community day school, the JCC, and the Jewish Home

continued to promote separate sites for expansion and would not join in the efforts. No Shuls would support joining with their “competition.” The project failed. Just a few years later, three of the synagogues that had been contacted for joining in this project had failed and gone out of existence. North San Diego County actually saw a decline in Jewish programming and organizations, despite growing in overall Jewish population. The Jewish community was simply not ready to grow together. Organizations and agencies self-destructed as they could not find support independently to continue. A changing perspective is needed in Los Angeles. With each loss of established synagogues, history is being lost as well as potential for the future. With each new breakaway congregation, established congregations and programs are being threatened. Do we really want our children growing up in nondescript storefront Shuls or in homebased synagogues? I recall a former five-year old patient whose parents decided a couple of decades ago that it was time to affiliate with a Shul. This boy went for Rosh Hashanah services for the first time to the old Wilshire Boulevard Temple complex. The next time he came for his scheduled appointment, all he could say was, “Boy, does G-d live in a beautiful house!” I can’t see children growing up in a Shul in a strip mall making similar comments or expressing such wonderment. We need to address problems of community before they lead to further bankruptcies of Shuls and closing down of communities. Our children deserve better. The future of Jewish life in Los Angeles depends on how we respond. •

Robert J. Rome, Ph.D., is a licensed Psychologist in clinical practice in Encino, California He can be reached at


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isha B’av is the saddest day of the Jewish calendar. However, Tachnun is not recited on Tisha B’av for it is considered a chag - a holiday. On the one hand we are mourning the destruction of the Batei Mikdosh but on the other hand we celebrate on that same sad day the birth of Moshiach. How can Tisha B’av be simultaneously a mournful and celebratory day? The great Kabbalist, the holy Ari Z”L cryptically explains the process of the twelve weeks from the 17th of Tammuz until Yom Kippur in Kabbalistic terms: The first three weeks (the weeks of mourning ending with Tisha B’Av) represent the Divine re-

creation? G-d chose to relate to His creation through ten attributes, called the Ten Sefiros, in which he channels His infinite light into the worlds. As the energy flows through these attributes, it acquires traits and characteristics, so that when it enters into the creation, it can create in a specific and limited, defined form. These attributes act as a sort of filter system which limit and define G-d’s infinite light. Prior to these attributes, G-d is unknowable. The Kabbalists describe the “Crown” as the place higher than the attributes, and the place where G-d’s infinite light begins to flow into the attributes. At this level G-d is as He Is - limitless,

mary elements that form the structure of the Soul. These ten attributes reflect the “Divine Personality” and are also comprised of three intellectual and seven emotional components. The “Crown” of the human being is the super-conscious, or pre-intellect, an unknowable place from which all consciousness and insight flows. The last of the ten attributes is known as Malchus/Kingship. It is sometimes counted as one of the seven emotional attributes, but is also often considered a separate component – as its function is to receive from the emotions above and actualize them. In the G-dly attributes, Malchus (sometimes called the

The Paradox of Gollus Externally: The breakdown of a relationship Internally: Making room for a deeper intimacy traction of the three intellectual faculties. The next seven weeks (until Rosh Hashana) represent the revelation and descent of new Divine light into the seven emotional attributes, and the final two weeks (ending right after Yom Kippur) represent the rising of the attribute of Kingship to receive it on two levels – within the lower and higher teshuva. G-d himself is infinite and limitless, without any description, trait or personality. Although He is unknowable, He made the creation, a finite and limited space, where every object and being has a particular description and personality. G-d personally dictated the specifications of everything that exists - that a rock should be hard, that each person has a particular disposition and personality and even that it should snow under particular circumstances. How can a limitless and infinite Being relate to a finite and defined


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without definition or explanation, completely unknowable and without beginning or end. These ten Divine attributes are also sometimes thought of as a “personality” that G-d assumes in order to relate to His creation. G-d particularly desires to relate to the human beings within the creation, which He desires to serve Him. We find in the Torah and Prophets that sometimes, G-d is referred to as the “Supernal Man.” This relates to the personality He assumes when dealing with the creation – a personality in whose image He created mankind. Of course – G-d does not take on a physical form, but rather, as the Kabbalists and Chasidic masters explain, this “Personality” which G-d assumes has similarities to the spiritual dynamics of the human psyche.

Shechina) is where the actual creation is formed. Within the human experience, Malchus is the point of speech or action, where the intellect has flowed into the emotion and

The human being, who was formed in this image, also contains ten pri• 323-965-1544 •

prompted the person into physical action. What the holy Ari Z”L teaches is that during this time of the year G-d deepens his relationship with us and a new process begins in three stages. Stage one starts from the 17th of Tammuz, when G-d retracts the Divine intellectual faculties – resulting in a breakdown of the divine flow. The world is, so-to-say, choking for Divine light. After Tisha B’Av, begins stage two, when with the seven weeks of comfort, an entirely new light emanates from a place beyond the Divine intellect – from the infinite and limitless light of G-d Himself, and enters back into the creation, flowing through the Divine intellect and into the seven emotional attributes. This light brews within the Divine personality, and finally, stage three, on Rosh Hashana, the world is ready to step up and receive the new light. These are the two weeks of Teshuva – when we lift up to G-d and accept His divine light. We can describe this process with an analogy. A teacher has a student, which he is dedicated to educating and who he knows will one day become a great teacher as well. So, the teacher puts all of his energy into the education of his precious pupil. One day, in the middle of a lesson, the teacher has an epiphany. A new, novel and amazing idea enters his mind, which contains the potential to improve his entire understanding and approach to the subject. In order to concentrate on this new idea, the teacher needs some time to work on it. Now, the teacher has a real dilemma. He can’t or doesn’t want to stop teaching, but in order to intellectualize the idea before it’s lost, he needs to really concentrate on it. So, while the lesson continues, he tries to analyze and understand his epiphany.


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He might still be talking about the original material, but his mind is deeply invested into the new idea. At this point, the student can tell that there something is amiss. His teacher’s actions and emotions are disconnected – his mind is somewhere else. When the teacher starts breaking down the idea and really working it within his mind, he will barely be able to teach at all. His sentences might not even make sense anymore, because he is so invested in his thoughts, and some words of the new idea might even slip into the lesson, leaving the student to think that the teacher is completely disconnected from the lesson. Finally, a stage will come when the teacher is so completely connected and absorbed in his thoughts that he will be unable to speak at all. Within this moment of silence, the teacher is experiencing the greatest pleasure and delight with his new idea, and the student is the most cut off and distressed. This corresponds to stage one, when there is a complete retraction of the three intellectual faculties. After the teacher has fully understood the new idea, it will now begin to register emotionally. He gets excited. The student sitting in the classroom recognizes the excitement of the teacher, and now understands that something new and amazing is about to emerge. This is stage two - the recovery process when the new light that came from the pre-intellect emerges into the intelligence and emotions. The student must now prepare for something amazing from his teacher in two ways. First, he must eliminate all preconceived notions. The student’s mind must be clear and objective, ready to accept everything the teacher says. Secondly, the student needs to focus his full concentration on the lesson, so that he can absorb • 323-965-1544 •

everything the teacher says. Later the student can process and analyze the lesson, but during class, he needs to be clear and focused. This is the third and final stage, which is the lifting up of the recipient to receive the light. When the teacher notices the student preparing for the new lesson that evokes an even greater excitement and desire within the teacher to deliver the best lesson possible. Similarly, as a result of G-d’s relationship with our great forefather Avraham, a new idea came into G-d’s mind (that is not to say that G-d has changed, chas v‘shalom, but rather it means that a change has occurred in the channels - Sefiros - where the creative life force flows into creation.) G-d's "persona" suddenly had an epiphany - a way to relate to humanity in a new and completely more powerful way. The Divine intellect had received a new light - the Torah - from the infinite light of G-d Himself. In order for the world, and particularly Avraham’s children, to receive this new light, there was confusion and darkness while the old light (pre Torah relationship) was withdrawn and the new idea processed through the Divine attributes and into the world. During this time, the Jews were exiled to Egypt and suffered intensely. The suffering and confusion was so great that even Moshe asked of G-d "…Why have You harmed this people? Why have You sent me?" (She-

mos 5:22). This was the darkest point of their exile in Egypt, and precisely at this point G-d tells Moshe “Now You Will See…” Because this was the point at which G-d was ready to release the new light into the world, the light which swept them out of Egypt and onto Mt. Sinai where we received the Torah. This G-dly idea continued throughout the First and Second Temple periods. Then, a much higher light - Moshiach - entered into G-d’s mind (that is into the realm of the transmitting light/sefiros.) That is why the Second Temple was destroyed. Something greater was brewing, and G-d released a great and powerful revelation of light, so strong and revolutionary that it has already spent two thousand years processing, and we are still waiting, in the darkness of exile, for the redemption and revelation of this new light. This is what the sages meant that on Tisha B’Av, at the moment when the Temple was destroyed is the time that Moshiach is born. It’s not because the Temple was destroyed that Moshiach is born. Rather, because Moshiach is born, the Temple was destroyed. The previous light retracted so that a much higher light can be transmitted. Every year, we experience this in a microcosm. On Pesach we are swept out of Egypt, on Shavuous, G-d transmits the Torah into our Souls. On Tisha B’Av we experience the darkness that is just before the coming of new light. The following seven weeks of comfort, through Elul and until Rosh Hashana, we can sense the coming revelation and we prepare for it. We feel comforted from the darkness and clear our minds and our hearts for the new light and the great day of Yom Kippur, where we are so pure and clean, we can rise up like angels to receive the new light from G-d into our souls. Finally, on Succos and particularly Simchas Torah we are filled with joy because we have received and internalized the new light, and we can truly celebrate that we have had a glimpse of what is yet to come. Today, as we stand at the brink of redemption, in almost complete darkness, we must realize that at any moment, we will be swept away into the great light of the days of Moshiach. • Excerpt from "The Parsha In My Life" class by Rabbi Reuven Wolf. Maayon Yisroel was founded by Rabbi Reuven Wolf, a renowned educator and inspiring lecturer who has devoted his life to reaching out and rekindling the spirit of Yiddishkeit in his fellow Jew. Over the past five years Rabbi Wolf has been teaching a 2-4 hour class on the weekly Parsha, named affectionately "The Thursday Night Shiur".


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FEAR ITSELF PARSHAS DEVARIM by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky


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amily Feuds. They happen in the best of families though blood somehow is thicker than water. But, obviously, blood is not the sole criteria to hold back the sword. Yaakov's brother Esav is the father of Edom and grandfather of Amalek. And there is no love lost between our two nations. Yet the Torah tells us about two families - cousins, albeit very distant against whom we may not wage war. Moshe tells the Children of Israel that Hashem told him "you may not provoke war with Moav for to the children of Lot I have given Ar as an inheritance" (Deuteronomy 2:9). The Moavites were descendants of Lot, Avraham's cousin. Their forebear, Moav, was fathered through an incestuous union of Lot and his daughter - who named him, unabashedly, Mo Av, from my father. Rashi points out that even though the Jews were forbidden to wage war with Moav, they were, however, permitted to antagonize and provoke them. That's why Moav hired the evil Bilaam, prophet, to curse the Jews. They were afraid of them. The descendants of Ammon, on the other hand, fared better. Though he, too, was born incestuously, the name Ammon hides that shameful act. In the merit of their mother's modesty, the Jews were not permitted to antagonize the nation of Ammon. Lot's children were, however, treated better than any other folk. There is no warning not to taunt or attack the children of Ishmael Avraham's own son. The Midrash explains that it is not Lot's blood-relation to Avraham that sheaved our sword, it is our gratitude. Fearing certain death, when he went down to Egypt with his wife Sora, Avraham claimed that Sora was his sister. Otherwise, the Egyptians would have killed the husband of this beauti-


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ful woman and sent her to Pharoah's harem. Lot was with Avraham and Sora on that journey and could have divulged the truth. He did not. Lot went along with the ploy and did not give Avraham and his wife up. His children were rewarded: the Jews could not wage war on them. But that merit doesn't stand on its own. It seems that Lot's discretion at the Egyptian border was enough to stop the Jews from waging all out war against his descendants. Yet, instilling fear was not ruled out. Why? When Napoleon was fleeing the Russian Army after his defeat in 1813, he escaped into the home of a peasant. "Please hide me," he cried. "When I return to my throne in Paris I will reward you greatly!" The farmer hid the emperor under a bed, covering him with some old rags. Moments later, Russian soldiers burst into the tiny home looking for their prey. The Russians ransacked the home and prodded the bed with sticks and swords. Napoleon was unharmed. When they left, Napoleon crawled out from under his hiding place and reiterated his pledge. "When I get to Paris, I will call for you. I promise you anything you wish!" Months later the farmer was summoned to the palace where he was allowed an audience with Napoleon. After conferring gold and silver upon the pauper the Emperor asked the question. "Ask me anything you want, I will respond in kind." "The man looked down at his feet and smiled. "Oh Emperor, I really don't want much. Just one small thing." Napoleon's eyes widened. "And what is that?" "The farmer gathered his courage. "How did you feel when they were poking their swords through the

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bed?" Napoleon flew into a rage. "Is this what you came to request? Is this the way you treat the emperor of France? Arrest this man," he shouted to the guards. "I want him shot." The man turned white as they led him to the wall of the outer courtyard. Napoleon accompanied them and declared that he would count to three and the firing squad would do its duty. The man was bound, gagged, and blindfolded, and placed in front of the firing squad. "One!" shouted the Emperor. The soldiers aimed their rifles. "Two," screamed the Emperor. The soldiers cocked their triggers. Suddenly, Napoleon held up his hand. He motioned to the soldiers to lower their arms. He walked over to the innocent man waiting to be executed and removed the blindfold. Then he put his arm around the man's shoulder and whispered in his ear, "That is how I felt!" Lot's descendants were spared war with Jews because Lot did not hand Avraham over to be killed. But he never alleviated Avraham's fears while travelling to Egypt. And that fear pierced the heart of Avraham during the entire journey. Kindness must be done with graciousness. And if Lot was supportive of Abraham, he should have been a true, unwavering comrade. His merit should have been for strong loyalty and not for his last second decision not to hand Avraham over to Egyptian authorities. He may have spared Avraham sure death, but he did not spare him fear of it. So his descendants the Moavites, albeit spared from war are reminded that though it may meritorious to spare one from the spear, it is even better to spare one from its fear! •


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he first nine days of the month of Av, and also the morning of the tenth, are days of acute mourning for the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples.

During this time, we don't: • Eat meat or drink wine, for during this period the sacrifices and wine libations in the Holy Temple ceased. The exceptions to this rule are meat and wine consumed on Shabbat or as part of a meal that celebrates a mitzvah, such as a circumcision, Bar Mitzvah, or the completion of a tractate of Talmud. • Launder clothing (except for a baby's) – even if they will not be worn during the Nine Days – or wear freshly laundered outer clothing. Those who wish to change their clothing daily should prepare a number of garments and briefly don each of them before the onset of the Nine Days. Then it is permitted to wear these "non-freshly laundered" garments during the Nine Days. • Swim or bathe for pleasure. • Remodel or expand a home. • Plant trees to be used for shade or fragrance (as opposed to fruit trees).

The Nine Days Laws and Customs Heightened Mourning, Uplifting Visions & Rejoicing with Mitzvot 30

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• Buy, sew, weave, or knit new clothing—even if they will only be worn after the Nine Days. Exceptions to this rule: a) If you will miss a major sale or if the garment will be unavailable later. b) For the purpose of a mitzvah, e.g., purchasing new clothing for a bride and groom. • Cut nails during the actual week of the fast of Tisha b'Av,

i.e., starting from the Saturday night before the fast until the conclusion of the Nine Days. The Sephardic custom is to observe the stringencies regarding meat, wine and bathing only in the week of Tisha b'Av.

Some more observances: • The Sanctification of the Moon is postponed until after Tisha b'Av. • There is no law forbidding traveling during the Nine Days; however, it is customary to refrain from traveling (or engaging in any potentially perilous activity) during these days unless it is absolutely necessary. • One may become engaged to be married during this period but no celebration should be held until after Tisha b'Av. Note: All these restrictions are in addition to the restrictions that apply during all of the Three Weeks.

Shabbat Chazon The Shabbat preceding the 9th of Av is called Shabbat Chazon—"Shabbat of the Vision." The Shabbat's reading from the Prophets begins with the words Chazon Yishayahu, the "vision of Isaiah" regarding the destruction of the Holy Temple. The legendary chassidic master Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev said that on this special Shabbat every Jewish soul is shown a vision of the third Holy Temple. The purpose of this vision is to arouse within every Jew a yearning to actually see this edifice which will be built

by G-d, and to do as many mitzvot as possible in order to realize this dream. While this vision may not be sensed with the physical eyes, the soul certainly experiences this vision, and it affects the person on the subconscious level. There is no mourning on Shabbat When possible, this week's havdallah wine or grape juice should be given to a child – younger than bar/bat mitzvah age – to drink.

The Inner Dimension "When the month of Av enters, we reduce our joy..." —Talmud, Taanit 26. The entire month of Av is considered to be an inopportune time for Jews. Our Sages advised that a Jew who is scheduled to have a court hearing – or anything of a similar nature – against a gentile during this month should try to postpone it until after Av, or at least until after the Nine Days. On the positive side, as we get closer and closer to the Messianic Era, when these days will be transformed from days of sadness to days of joy, we start to focus on the inner purpose of the destruction, which is to bring us to a higher level of sensitivity and spirituality, and ultimately to the rebuilding – with even greater grandeur and glory – of all that was destroyed. We therefore try to moderate the sadness through participating in permissible celebrations. It is therefore Chabad custom to have someone complete a tractate of the Talmud each day of the Nine Days, in order to infuse these days with permissible joy.•

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haim: Chaya please stop yelling at me, we will resolve this issue.

Chaya: But Chaim we are Overdrawn in the bank and it is only the 15th, what are we going to do? I went to get groceries and fill up the car and the car and the card was declined, it is so embarrassing, should I use my credit card? Chaim: No Chaya we are maxed out on our credit cards and there is no room. I will have to ask a friend of mine to cash a check for me, and will bring you money. Chaya: Chaim we cannot live like this what are we going to do? What about supper and food for the kids? Chaim: It will be ok Chaya we will make it through the month and everything will resolve itself. Go to Yankel’s market and put it on our bill, but don’t go to SuperKosher because our account is closed there till we can pay it down.

- 85,000 annually according to the US Governments statistical reports. The Average Frum young couple with 23 Children has to be $160,000 - $180,000 per year just for them to live a reasonable life. What you may ask is a reasonable life, the answer is easy. Renting an apartment, 2 car/lease payments + insurance, Tuition for two kids (with some kind of break), a nanny/cleaning woman at home with babies #3& 4, and a vacation maybe every 2nd or 3rd year if that. We are not talking about owning a home, we are not talking about eating out at restaurants, we are not talking about being able to go out with your spouse (and/or with the kids) to eat more than once a month if that. We are talking about living a reasonable life. If a young couple is not earning close to double the state median income then they are either living on credit or being assisted by their parents from one or both sides. Can this continue? Is it reasonable to

Shalom Bayis – Financially Burdened! Chaya: Chaim, how can you say that we are not making it, what is going on? We both work we make a reasonable amount of money why are we always in overdraft, is the bank stealing from us? Chaim: No Chaya, the bank is not stealing from us the FACTS payments for the children’s tuition went through and that is why we are negative. Chaya: But Chaim what are we going to do; we should cut back and lower our expenses! Chaim we have to do something to fix this, maybe I will take another job, or maybe you should? Chaim: Chaya how can we do this, we both work full time, something will happen and we will make it through. Chaya: Chaim you are right I agree it is just frustrating. I know, I know, we just have to stand by each other and remember to support each other and we will make it work Hashem Yaazor………….. Does this scene or a variation of it sound familiar to you? How many young couples do you know who are going through this predicament? How many young couples are going through this and you are not even aware of the fact? It is sad that one of the most common issues, tensors if you will, in marriage today have a lot to do with finances! One of the main causes of this is of course the costs of being Frum and sending our Children to Frum Schools. Average American income for the “average family” with two parents working is approximately $65,000.00


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assume that this cannot continue to be the way we live? The costs are higher in our community and there is no two ways about it. Rent is more, Property is more, Food is more, Yomim Toviim and Shabbos cost more, and then of course there is tuition, which can be more than 10% 15%, or more, of a couples Gross, yes Gross not Net, pay. In researching for this article I consulted several well respected “Counselors/ Mental Health Professionals”that deal with our community, and all agree that Financial Strain is the number one cause of friction in a “Young Couples” home. Will it lead to other issues coming to light, certainly! Will this strain cause poor decisions and fighting in a young marriage, certainly! Is there an answer to this problem, who knows? Will the divorce rate climb as a result of Financial pressure, unfortunately yes. What can we do to help these couples? What can we do to teach the young couples how to survive? Can we educate our children so that this does not leave us with single parents of 2-4, or more, children! Working two jobs just to get by and be comfortable is not an option as you would never then see your children. Living based on the exBy: An Original Angelino pectation that our parents will help us is not a permanent, nor even healthy temporary, solution. Even educating our children how to do with less and to save is not a solution.

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Can we learn to watch for the warning signs, and thus be able to offer help and support to our next generation? What can we as a community do to help our future? There has to be a solution before the implosion which is probably not that far off. Shalom Bayis is such an integral part of what we learn from Chazal and our Rabbonim, yet we do not act on what we learn. Divorce is growing in our community and there is no end in sight! Can we train the schools admission people to look twice at younger families before advising them that this is what tuition is and saying that’s what it is period, or send your child somewhere else. Can we limit the amounts spent on Simchas so that the race to be equal or better than the Cohen’s is lessened? In every community across the spectrum the Rabbonim and Askonim of the communities are starting to limit many different things and to put caps on same so that this issue does not grow! Why in Los Angeles are we ignoring this issue? We are definitely ignoring this issue as can be attested to by the lack of response to these and other questions. In an article published in Community Links Issue#156 several weeks ago I brought to light the plight of some of the pillars of our community, the Mechanchim/Educators, of our children and sadly received not even one response or query. It is truly sad that in an article wherein I described an ongoing situation wherein our founding pillars are suffering I received not even one comment, question or suggestion. That combined with what I know firsthand is happening in our community leads me to believe that we just don’t care, we are completely apathetic to the ills that are in our community. This saddens me a great deal as I have been a part of this community for more than 40 years and have friends who have been in this community for more the 60 years, and they feel the same. Our community has grown but we have lost our way as well. Baruch Hashem we have more than 2 Kosher Restaurants now, and we actually have a choice of where to send our children to school, as well as where to shop. But the question is can we afford any of the above choices?

David Morris

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Don't Forget!


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n Parshas Va'eschanan we find the very famous portions of the Torah that are imbedded in the soul of the nation: The Ten Commandments and the Shema Yisrael.

“I don’t know,” he sighed. “I could not find it after swimming. Maybe someone took it.”

Although every word of the Omnipotent carries equal force, these commanding portions are better known, if not better observed, by the nation.

The mother was irate. “Who could have taken your towel? It was a great towel! Junior you would never take someone else’s towel. You know I raised you differently than that. Right?”

“Where is your towel?” asked his mom.

But powerful as they are, they were not given in a vacuum. Moshe forewarns the nation not to forget the message of Sinai and to impart its message and its relevance to future generations.

A few moments later, she was on the phone with the day camp director.

“Only beware for yourself and greatly beware for your soul, lest you forget the things that your eyes have beheld and lest you remove them from your heart all the days of your life, and make them known to your children and your children's children” (Deuteronomy 4:9).

“How so?” “My son had a towel stolen from camp! He brought it in today and it was nowhere”

In order to comprehend the posuk, it must separated into two distinct parts. “Beware not to forget the things that your eyes have beheld from your heart all your days.” In addition, the Torah adds, “you shall teach the Torah to your children and children’s children.”

“Sure I can! It was white and big. You could not miss it. It had the words Holiday Inn emblazoned on it!”

Nevertheless, the grammar is surely questionable, “lest you remove them from your heart all the days of your life, and make them known to your children.” In its simplest form, the verse seems at best contradictory. Look at the words. Beware that you do not remove the teachings from your heart and make them known to your children. How is that possible? If one removes the teaching from his own heart, how can he pass it to his children? The Torah should have overtly inserted some phrase or word clarifying the transition. The perplexing composition in its simplest form surely leaves for a creative interpretation, perhaps the omission of the transitional word lends itself to a drash that deviates from the obvious meaning. Thousands of people receive this weekly D’var Torah. In return, I receive many stories for possible use as anecdotal parables. Here is one from the archives. Junior came home from day camp one day without his towel..

“Hello. There is a young thief in your camp!”

“Calm down,” came the voice on the line. “I am sure that no one stole it. Please describe the towel to me.”

The Leket Amarim interprets the verse in its purest and most simplistic form, revealing a deeper meaning that belies the simplicity of the verse. “Only beware for yourself and greatly beware for your soul, lest you forget the things that your eyes have beheld and lest you remove them from your heart all the days of your life, and make them known to your children and your children's children.” Often when it comes to our actions, we forget the principles that we were taught as youngsters, but we remember them when chiding our children and pontificating. We may give our children a speech about honesty and integrity, and only minutes later command them to tell a caller on the telephone that, “my father is not home.” We may give speeches about integrity and corporate greed only to have pushed our own portfolios in a certain direction through creative manipulation. And so, the Torah warns us not to forget its principles for ourselves yet to teach them to our children. Consistency is the message of the moment. For yourself. For your children. For eternity •

by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky


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Why We Mourn

By Naftali Silberberg Rabbi Naftali Silberberg, a native of Detroit, is on the editorial team of He resides in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife Chaya Mushka and their three children.


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he fast of Tisha b'Av, the saddest date on the Jewish calendar, is the day which saw the destruction of both Holy Temples, as well as many other tragic events throughout our nation's tear-soaked galut. A mournful mood is carefully created. We read Jeremiah's Book of Lamentations and a lengthy collection of elegies which vividly describe all these tragedies, and throughout the day we follow many mourning practices. Tisha b'Av is our national day of mourning when we pause to reflect on all the pogroms, crusades, inquisitions and holocausts which have dogged our nation for the past 2,000 years. Nonetheless it is specifically observed on the date when the Holy Temples were destroyed, and the Temples are the principal focus of this day's mourning. It is clear that our suffering is intimately associated with the absence of the Temple. What is the connection? And why the obsession over an ancient Jerusalemite structure? Does the lack of a Holy Temple leave any of us feeling a gaping hole in our lives? The Talmud declares (Brachot 3a): When Jews enter their prayer and study halls and proclaim, "May His great name be blessed," the Holy One, blessed be He, nods and says, "Fortunate is the king who is thus praised in his home. What is there for a father who has exiled his son? And woe to children who have been exiled from their father's table!"

connect with Him, but we don't feel like we are in a relationship. This is certainly not the way the relationship should be, and this wasn't always the case. There was a time when we were coddled by our Father's embrace. His love for us manifested itself in many forms: miracles, prophets, abundant blessings and a land flowing with milk and honey. And at the crux of our relationship was the Holy Temple, G-d's home where He literally dwelt amongst His people, where His presence was tangible. Thrice yearly Jews would visit G-d's home and feel His presence, feel the relationship. They would then return home invigorated by the experience, their hearts and souls afire with love for G-d. All the suffering which has been our lot since the day the Temple was destroyed is a result of our exiled state. When the king's son resides in the palace, when the king's love for the prince is on open display, the child is insulated against the designs of all his enemies. But when the child is expelled, the enemies pounce. This is why we mourn the destruction of the Temples. And we believe with perfect faith that the day is near when we will be returned to our Father's home, and once again be smothered by His love. •

This brief statement captures the very essence of galut. Parent-child relationships share many of the qualities which typify all relationships -- though perhaps to a greater degree: respect, love, care, etc. There is, however, an essential difference. Other relationships are predicated on these abovementioned feelings: because I like you and care for you, therefore we are friends. In the parent-child relationship the opposite is true; these feelings are predicated on the relationship: because I am your parent/child, therefore I love you. Thus the parent-child relationship possesses two aspects; its essence and its manifestations. Its core is the essential relationship which is immutable and not even subject to fluctuations. No matter what, a parent always remains a parent, and one's child remains one's child. In a normal and healthy parent-child relationship, this core soul-connection expresses itself in the form of love, care, and mutual respect. G-d is our father, and we are His children. And during galut we constitute a dysfunctional family. We have been expelled from our Father's home. Our relationship has been reduced to its very core. All the perceptible traces of the relationship have vanished. We don't feel or see G-d's love for us, and we don't really feel like His children. We study His Torah and follow His commandments, and we are told that by doing so we


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1. The girl standing in the back is missing. 2. One of the vases the girls’ are holding is gone. 3. The Gan Izzy logo on the girls shirt on the left is missing. 4. The girls in the front had her sock changed from pink to blue. 5. The girl with the pink headband now has a yellow one. 6. The computer screen in the back is missing. 7. One of the flower tissue papers have changed from yellow to blue. 8. The flowers on the girls purple shirt are missing. 9. The hair pin on the girl in the front is now on the right side. 10.The girl in the back has 2 pink hair bows in her hair.

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Chabad Sola. Mon - Fri, at 8.30AM. 1627 S La Cienega Blvd, opposite Cheder Menachem. If you are interested and could commit to be part of this new Minyan please contact R Menashe at 646 258 6881 or at


High School Teachers:

BNEI BRAKISRAEL 4 BR. 2 1/2 bath big living room. dining area. private home. close to shuls and shops. $3000.

Seeking experienced English and History Teacher(s) for part-time afternoon position. Sundays thru Thursdays, 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. Please send resume to


Beverly Hills Adjacent Home for Sale 5 Bedroom 3.5 Bath Luxury Home, Marble floors, Lrg Luxury Granite Kitchen, huge living/dining room w/vaulted ceilings, Wet Bar, 2 Master S u i t e s , Jacuzzi, Laundry, Sauna, basketball court. Lots of Built-ins.

Call Daniel @ (310) 925 - 9972 FOR SALE

Bev/La Brea - 4bd, Pool Guest Apt. Kosher Kit. OPEN HSE 6/20 2-5pm Free Recorded Info: 800-417-7489 ID#8001 Miller Real Estate 310.210.3038 DRE Lic. #963418

GUEST HOUSE FOR RENT Large, Bright and Clean, Full Bathroom & Kitchenette, Private Entrance, A/C & Heating, Beverly/La Brea Area, $950/Month, (Utilities Included; 6 month minimum lease) (323) 687-3698


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GUEST HOUSE FOR RENT Very nice guest house for rent, furnished, kosher kitchenette, own private entrance, Beverly/La Brea area, female applicant only. Judy @ 323-363-8337 Jewish Tehachapi Torah Center(ed Community): Suited for families, individuals, and existing Torah org a n i z a t i o n s . H e a l t h y, Serene, Affordable, Child Friendly. Relax, Recharge, Learn. Vacation or Year Round. Advise interest now for: Summer Camp, Torah Retreats, Regular Minyan.. Join Rabbi Hershy's Open Yeshiva on the 13 Principles of Faith Sundays 11AM. 'Twice the House for Half the Money' Priced from: House - $130,000. Co-Op - $65,000. Lot $30,000. Lease: House $800, Apartment $600, Room $400. Contact Roger M.: 310948-5137.

Orthodox woman available to watch your children full time or part-time hours, at your location. Excellent references. 323-651-9389

Next Advertising Deadline

July 23, 2010 Circulation

July 30, 2010 Please call

323.965.1544 or email us at


A young organized, reliable woman looking for a teaching position in elementry schools. Has experience working with kids. Knows to speak Hebrew and English (310)497-4843 SALES PERSON WANTED

Excellent Opportunity for highly motivated sales person to work for growing business. Create your own hours. Work from home. For further information please email us at info@community Ref #1980 m/TehachapiJewish.htm POSITION WANTED

A young organized, reliable orthodox women with 13 years experience in secratery and bookeeping is looking for a office position speak Hebrew and English 310-9168019. • 323-965-1544 •

Dining Guide Listing Please Call 323-965-1544 MEAT Afshan Restaurant RCC 106 W. 9th St. LA, (213) 622-1010 Bocca Steakhouse RCC 16610 Ventura. Encino, 91436 (818) 905-5855 Café Del Mar Meat Kehila 12526 Burbank Blvd. N.H. 91607 (818) 487-8171 Chic N Chow Kehila 9301 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 274-5595 Chinese and Kabob Kehila 9180 Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 274-4007 Circa RCC 433 N. Fairfax Avenue, LA, 90036 323-653-1941 Cohen’s Restaurant RCC 316 E Pico Blvd # F LA, CA 90015 (213) 742-8888 Delice Bistro Kehila 8581 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 289-1702 Elat Burger Ben Zaken 9340 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 278-4692 Elite Cuisine RCC 7119 Beverly Blvd. LA, 90036 (323) 930-1303 Bukstan Falafel Express 5577 Reseda Blvd. Tarzana, 9135 (818) 345-5660

Falafel Grill Chabad 5611 Kanan R. Agoura Hills, 91301 (818) 991-8799 Glatt Hut RCC 9303 W. Pico Blvd. 90035 (310) 246-1900 Golan RCC 13075 Victory Blvd. N. H, 91606 (818) 763-5344 Got Kosher? RCC 8914 W. Pico Blvd. 90035 (310) 858-1920 Habayit Bukstan 11921 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90064 (310) 479-5444


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Haifa Ben Zaken 8717 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 888-7700

Temptation Grill Kehila 17547 Ventura B. Encino, 91316 (818) 995-4700

Milk N Honey RCC 8837 West Pico Blvd LA, 90035 (310) 858-8850

Jeffs Gourmet Kehila 8930 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 858-8590

The Meating Place KCA 30313 Canwood St. AH, 91301 (818) 706-1255

Milky Way Kehila 9108 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 859-0004

Kosher Chicks RCC 186081/2Ventura Blvd. Tarzana, 91356 (818) 343-8800

Tierra Sur at Herzog Winery 3201 Camino DelSol Oxnard (818) 752-6866

Nagilla Pizza Kehila 9411 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 788-0111

La Gondola Kehila 9025 Wilshire Blvd. BH, 90211 (310) 247-1239

Smokin’ Rabbi Furst 12514 Burbank Boulevard, Valley Village, CA 91607 (805) 983-1560

La Glatt RCC 446 Fairfax Ave. LA, 90036 (323) 658-7730


Nana Cafe RCC 1509 S Robertson Blvd. (310) 407-0404 Pico Cafe Kehila 8944 W Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 310-385-9592


Mashu Mashu RCC 12510 Burbank Blvd. 91607 (818)752-ASIA (2742)

Beverly Cafe Elite RCC 7113 Beverly Blvd. LA, 90035 (323) 931-3563

Pizza Maven Kehila 140 North La Brea Blvd. 90036 (323) 857-0353

Metro Glatt RCC 8975 W. Pico Blvd. 90035 (310) 275-4420

Bibis Warmstone Kehila 8928 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 246-1788

Pizza Nosh Rabbi Ami Markel 30313 Canwood St. A.H. 91301 (818) 991-3000

Nagilla Meating Place Kehila 9407 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 788-0119

Bramis Pizza

(818) 342-0611

Pizza Station Kehila 8965 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 276-8708

Café Del Mar Dairy Kehila 12526 Burbank Blvd. N.H. 91607 (818) 487-8171

Pizza World Kehila 365 Fairfax Ave. LA, 90036 (323) 653-2896

Circa RCC 8622 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles (310) 854-0592

Sassis Sushi Kehila 16550 Ventura, Encino, 91436 (818) 783-2727

Delice Kehila 8583 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 289-6556

Shalom Pizza RCC 8715 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 271-2255

Orange Delight Kehila 13628 Ventura Blvd. SO, 91423 (818) 788-9896 Pats Kehila 9233 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 205-8705 Pico Kosher Deli RCC 8826 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 273-9381 Pita Way RCC 8532 Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 652-5236 Sassis Kehila 15622 Ventura, Encino, 91436 (818) 986-5345 Shanghai Kehila 9401 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 553-0998 Shilohs Kehila 8939 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 858-1652 Subway Kehila 8948 W Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 274-1222 Schnitzle Kehila 9216 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 786-8282


17736 ShermanWay, Reseda 91326


Fish Grill Kehila 7226 Beverly Blvd. LA, 90036 (323) 937-7162 12013 Wilshire Blvd. LA, 90025 (310) 479-1800 9618 W. Pico Blvd. 90035 (310) 860-1182 22935 Pacific Coast Highway (310) 456-8585

Unique Cafe Rabbi Aron Simkin 18381 Ventura Blvd. Tarzana (818) 757-3100 Fish In The Village RCC 12450 Burbank Blvd. N.H, 91607 (818) 769-0085

Jerusalem Pizza Kehila (818) 758-9595

Le Sushi 12524 Burbank Blvd N.H. 91607 (818) 763-6600

La Brea Bagel Kehilla 7308 Beverly Blvd. LA, 90036 (323) 965-1287

SushiKo RCC 9340 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 274-3474

17942 Ventura Blvd. Encino, CA 91316

La Pizza Rabbi Furst 12515 Burbank Blvd. N.H, 91607 (818) 760-8198

• 323-965-1544 •


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• 323-965-1544 •

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