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Another Look

Those of us who question the propriety of the mosque are guilty of “Islamophobia.” We are the guilty ones. We are wrong. They are right. And so goes this logic exercised by these mosque proponents. 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 permissions of the publisher.



Teshuva. It is the word of the hour, and there is no better time for the Torah to talk about it than the week before Rosh Hashanah. Rabbi Mordechai Kamanetzky

Dr. Robert Rome


The Coronation OF G-D

This is the difference between the times of the year when we get to see the King and how we get to see Him during the month of Elul..



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Another Look at the Proposed Mosque in Lower Manhattan: The Pot Calling the Kettle…

By Robert J. Rome, Ph.D.

n recent days, a variety of supporters of the proposed mosque to be built near the site of “Ground Zero” have taken to the air waves. Among these proponents, the wife of the Imam behind the project has accused those opposed to the mosque project as “intolerant.” She stated those of us who question the propriety of the mosque are guilty of “Islamophobia.” We are the guilty ones. We are wrong. They are right. And so goes this logic exercised by these mosque proponents.


Let me begin my response with some of the basic principles that I hold: 1. I do not consider myself an “Islamophobe.” As a Sephardic Jew with roots on the Island of Rhodes and in Turkey, my family was saved numerous times by Moslem leaders. The Sultan of Turkey accepted those Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition and Expulsion, giving these Jews refuge and saving them from further harm at the hands of the Inquisitors. Jews were able to thrive in both Rhodes and Turkey where they were free to fully practice their rituals and heritage. More recently, in the 20th Century, it was the Moslem Consul General of Turkey stationed in Rhodes who worked


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feverishly around the clock to save as many Jews as possible from being taken by the Nazis as they ordered Jews to report for deportation. After saving dozens of Jews, this young Moslem diplomat saw his home bombed with the resulting death of his then pregnant wife. He himself was arrested and spent the remaining year of the war in prison. For these and other reasons, I am forever grateful to the role of Moslems in protecting my family members. 2. I have spent my adult life fighting bigotry and prejudice. I was selected by my psychologist colleagues as Chair of the California Psychological Association Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping minority communities and minority students and psychologists. I have fought for the rights of all, from the days when I was one of only 70-80 students protesting at the site of the Columbia University Gymnasium on land taken from park land which had served the black and Hispanic communities, to my more recent fighting before judges almost weekly to ensure equal access to special education rights and programs for African-American and Spanishspeaking families. On the other hand, let’s look at apparent lack of tolerance exhibited by many Moslems ever since 9/11, and even before: 1. It appears that abhorrence of Israel (and Jews) is at the heart of many advocates for the mosque. The question as to whether Hamas is a terrorist group has come up as the project’s Imam does not consider Hamas as such. There have been suggestions that one of the possible compromises would be to build a Jewish place of prayer and a Christian sanctuary on the same site so all three major religions can pray at the same place. No one involved in the mosque project has even responded to this suggestion. There just does not seem to be


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tolerance of others on their part. 2. Consideration of the feelings of the survivors of 9/11 seems out of the question to the mosque supporters. Even posing such consideration is deemed bigotry. I would suggest that the total rejection of consideration of the feelings of the 9/11 victims represents the bigotry. They are intolerant of the feelings and views of others, not we who question the site of the mosque. 3. Even when the Governor of New York offers state land at a reduced costsomewhere else for the construction of the mosque, there is seemingly no willingness to even consider such a proposal. 4. Not to get ahead of the facts, where is this organization that ended last year with only $18,000 in the bank to get the $100,000,000 for this project? Can you imagine such money coming forward without supporters of Iran and Saudi Arabia involved? Speaking of intolerance… Maybe cooler heads will prevail. Maybe tolerance will in the end win out. Maybe a compromise will permit a grand project in honor of Islam which does not offend the families of the victims of 9/11. I do not give up hope. As they say, “Hope springs eternal.” Yet, it seems those who back the Lower Manhattan mosque have been willing to stage a virtual jihad to oppose any who question this project. Despite what the Imam’s wife is telling us, there can be honor in compromise. In the meanwhile, stating opposition to an ill-conceived project will hopefully lead to the compromised solution we seek. Robert J. Rome, Ph.D., is a licensed Psychologist in clinical practice in Encino, California. He can be reached at

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The Coronation Of G-d From a simple sound of an animal horn, all of creation was reborn.

ost of us have learned many different ways to approach the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. The Talmud tells us that on Rosh Hashanah there are three books open before G-d. The book of the righteous – which is the book of life, the book of the wicked – for those who have not earned life, and book of the intermediates – those who get an extra ten days to repent and show that they too deserve to be written in the book of life. Who feels ready to be judged by the Almighty? Who can stand in shul and know that he is innocent in G-d’s eyes? This is Rosh Hashanah as a day of judgment.


Rosh Hashanah is also the first day of the Aseres Yimei Teshuva, The Ten Days of Repentance. Even though teshuva works all year long and we can repent at any moment, the ten days beginning with Rosh Hashanah and ending on Yom Kippur are particularly set aside for repentance. During this time we can experience a tremendous assistance from G-d with our repentance. This is Rosh Hashanah as a time of opportunity. The year begins again on Rosh Hashanah. Sometimes we fall into repetitive patterns in our lives that leave us unhappy or dissatisfied and we find it hard to change. It’s always easier to make changes in our lives whenever something new happens - anything from starting a

new diet to committing to extra Torah learning, or daily prayer with a Minyan, it always seems easier to begin these things during a time of renewal – a birthday, on Rosh Chodesh, or right after Rosh Hashanah. This is Rosh Hashanah as a time of renewal, it’s the renewal of the year and the birthday of humanity. All of these approaches to Rosh Hashanah are based on what the sages tell us, and are completely correct and appropriate. However, the Kabbalists and Chassidic masters revealed another deeper aspect of Rosh Hashanah, the meaning and the root and essence of the day, from which the above aspects of judgement, teshuva and renewal spring forth and evolve like branches from a tree. Rosh Hashanah is the time of the coronation of the King. It is the day that G-d assumes the role of being the king over all of creation, both the physical and spiritual universes. The Jewish people are the ones who affect the coronation. The machzor, our closest companion on Rosh Hashanah focuses throughout every prayer on the Kingship of G-d. Of course the other things are mentioned, but they are all secondary to the Kingship. Even the blowing of the shofar, the main mitzvah of the day, is primarily done because it is the trumpet through which the King is coronated. Our job on Rosh

HaShanah is to coronate G-d as king of creation, to build and add to His Kingship. The holy book Etz Chaim, by Rav Chaim Vital, the student of the holy Ari Z”L, begins by describing the progression of G-dly light or energy as it passes through infinite contractions to generate our world. The text describes what happened “When it arose in G-d’s simple will ‘I want to be a king.’” At that point, G-d contracted and concealed his infinite light and energy. As long is His infinite light shines, nothing else can exist. G-d therefore created a space where His infinite light is concealed, perhaps slightly similar to a black hole. This created a space for all of the universes, spiritual and physical, to exist. Once the space was created, G-d transmits his energy into the creation through ten attributes, a topic widely discussed by the Chassidic and Kabbalistic masters. The last of these attributes is Malchus/Kingship, it is the closest to creation. The collective work of the Jewish people as a whole as well as every person as an individual is to develop and increase this attribute on Rosh Hashanah, to crown G-d as the king of the world. A king, by definition, is in a relationship; He needs to rule over someone else. If subjects are forced to obey the King, then the leader is a tyrant. True kingship occurs only when the subjects recog-

nize and acknowledge the king as their superior, and yield themselves to serve him. As beautiful, complex and intricate as the creation is, only the human being can give G-d, so to say, true fulfillment and satisfaction in being a king. Only human beings, and particularly the Jewish People, have the power of fully submitting themselves to G-d’s kingship because only human beings have free will. The angels above live so close to G-d’s light that they don’t see any other existence except for G-d’s. Animals and other creatures lower than man don’t have the intelligence to make true choices. They are still subjects of the Supreme King, but it’s by force - they operate only within the patterns of nature. It is only the human that has the choice as an individual to listen to or ignore the Kings desires. Only a human can truly submit or rebel. As soon as Adam HaRishon, the first man, opened his eyes on the day he was created, it was apparent to him that G-d created the world. Adam stood up in Gan Eden and the first words he uttered were in praise of G-d’s kingship and exaltedness. G-d commanded Adam to work the garden and to protect it. The sages explain that man works the garden through the actions of the 248 positive commandments in the Torah, and we guard it by refraining from the 365 negative prohibitions. G-d’s interest in Adam’s (Man’s) existence is for his willful service. Through man’s work G-d can realize His desire to be a King, thereby fulfilling His will for creation. When a person’s colleagues - his comrades and friends - recognize him as an exalted or superior being,

willfully submit to him, and ask that he lead them and protect them as their King, it’s understandable that he would find it pleasurable and fulfilling. Imagine if a colony of small, common backyard ants proclaims a particular person as their king. It might be cute for a while, but there is no fulfillment in the kingship, it’s ridiculous. The distance between the finite creations called humans and those finite creations called ants is enormous. This distance is miniscule and doesn’t compare in any way to the distance between any created, finite thing and the infinite, all powerful G-d. As the Zohar says, all of creation is literally nothing to G-d.

After the initial creation, Hashem decided that He wants the creations to continue to exist by making ourselves exciting and interesting to Him. Now, once a year, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the interest and desire that G-d has with the creation ends. He, so to speak, retracts to His distant state, aloof and removed, where the creation is completely meaningless and insignificant to him and views the creation from a completely detached state. He wants us to regenerate His interest. He wants us to ignite within him the desire to be the King of the world. On Rosh Hashanah we need to restimulate and reengage G-d. We renegotiate our existence and the existence of all within creation.

What kind of difference or significance can anything within creation make to G-d? In terms of This is what the Jewish people do His greatness the creation doesn’t every Rosh Hashanah, we gather mean anything and is completely irthroughout the world in every synrelevant to him! The answer is agogue and sing G-d’s praises. We “Kach Alah B’Ritzono.” This is speak of how great He is and each what G-d decided. He wants the and every one of us makes the creation to interest to Him and He proclamation of “Long live the minimized and contracted himself King!” We devote ourselves coman infinite number of times, lower pletely from the deepest place in and lower, to a place where the creour hearts. When Jews around the ation has significance to him. He world join together and sound the decided to come down and make shofar, we make the proclamation Himself vulnerable, so to speak, to that we have no other King but the creation. Thus, the initial creation came about completely undeser ved We buy your airlines miles and Amex Points and unearned by the creations; it was completely as a Kindness of G-d.



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Hashem, and that we live to serve him. This excites and interests G-d, so to say, to accept the crown and willfully reenter and reengage with the worlds. The shofar, the trumpet of G-d’s coronation, serves as the birth canal through which the creation is reborn. This is the renewal of creation on Rosh Hashanah. Of course, this isn’t a mechanical process. G-d takes His creation and kingship seriously. If He is going to be a King, guarding and providing for his subjects, He expects to be their true king, they his subjects should be truly obedient and devoted to His every wish and desire. So, G-d has to consider if the creation is it living up to what He had planned for it to be. He examines the entire creation as a whole, as well as each individual being and object within creation. G-d asks, “Is this particular creation fulfilling my interest in the creation? Is this person or object adding to My Kingship or, G-d forbid, is it diminishing my presence in this world?” This is the judgment of Rosh Hashanah. We all understand that we were lousy subjects and didn’t exactly fulfill all of G-d’s obligations and expectations. In some areas we were completely negligent and lacking. This is frightening! Especially since we know that the judgment is based on our performance, and we are in trouble. But G-d knows the challenges of the evil inclination which He created, and the weaknesses of the human heart. This is why Hashem gave us the opportunity to do teshuva, to repent and wipe the slate clean. All it takes is a sincere and true commitment and effort. We have to ask ourselves many questions. What am I all about? Am I living a life devoted to myself and my personal interests, or am I living my life for a higher purpose? Do I see myself and act as G-d’s humble servant or do I see myself and act as a king or a god onto my own? Committing ourselves to serving the Creator and working to maintain this consciousness throughout the year, no matter what happened in the past - the fact that we are seriously committed to G-d right now – this is the teshuva of Rosh Hashanah. This year on Rosh Hashanah, when Jews around the world join together and proclaim G-d as their king, may we all pass through a merciful and good judgment and may all of us be written into the book of life, prosperity and redemption. 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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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 hagbah 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


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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 dissapointing 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


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Teshuva. It is the word of the hour, and there is no better time for the Torah to talk about it than the week before Rosh Hashanah. It means repentance. It means not only taking heart but even changing heart! And this week the Torah tells us that the requirements are not as difficult as one would perceive. "It is not in heaven or across the sea. Rather it is very near to you - in your mouth and in your heart - to perform" (Deuteronomy 30:12-15). The Ibn Ezra comments on the three aspects of commitment that the Torah alludes to -- the mouth, the heart and the performance. In practical terms, there are commandments of the heart, there are those that entail speech, and there are those that require action. But on a simple level, the Torah seems to discuss a process that involves commitment before action. It takes the heart and the mouth to make the commitment before the action is performed. Thus the Torah tells us, "it is very near to you - in your mouth and in your heart - to perform." The sequence of events, however, seems reversed. The Torah puts the mouth before the heart. Shouldn't the Torah have written, "It is very near to you - in your heart and in your mouthto perform"? Doesn't one have to have wholehearted feeling before making verbal pledges? Why would the Torah tell us that it is close to your mouth and your heart? In the years before the establishment of the State of Israel, Rabbi Aryeh Levin, the Tzadik of Jerusalem, would visit the inmates of the British-controlled Jerusalem prison on every Shabbos. Though most of the Jewish prisoners were not observant, they would quickly don kippot before the revered Rabbi would greet them. Then they would join in the Shabbos morning prayer service that

Reb Aryeh organized and they would read along with the rabbi, as if they were observant Jews. The entire scene agitated one particularly nasty fellow named Yaakov. He would try in every way to irritate the gentle Rabbi. Each Shabbos, he would purposely light up a cigarette in Reb Aryeh's face in order to disturb him. Reb Aryeh was never fazed. One Shabbos, Yaakov stormed into the makeshift synagogue and snapped at the aged Rabbi. "Why do you waste your time with these liars and fakes? They are no more observant than I am. They only put the kippah on their heads when you come here. Furthermore, they only pray and open their lips to G-d when you are here. Otherwise they have no feeling in their hearts!" Reb Aryeh turned to Yaakov and rebuked him with a firm but gentle voice. "Why do you slander these souls. They come to pray every single week. I do not look at their heads but rather in their hearts. And when I hear the prayers coming from their lips, I know that their hearts are following as well." It was not long before Yaakov became a steady member of the prayer group. The Torah may be hinting at a powerful message. It may be telling us that even though our hearts have not arrived as yet, it is still important to use our lips to communicate the commitments and pray the prayers of the Jewish People. The Torah is not far away. It is close and easy for your mouth. The books are available. The siddur is understandable and translated. It is very near to your lips. All you have to do is talk the talk - sincerely. Soon enough, you will walk the walk with the same sincerity as well. •

by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky


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abbi Meir of Premislan was such a holy man that many other holy men in their own right came to seek his advice and blessing. A certain tzadik once came to see Rabbi Meir, asking for his blessing because he planned to settle in Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Meir listened and then said,"And how do you expect to raise the money for this journey?"

tated on the threshold. Still, the attendant had told him to enter. Was there a mistake? He stood there, not knowing whether to advance or retreat. The passing moments seemed like an eternity. Finally Rabbi Meir spoke, telling him to enter.

"I hope to visit some relatives. When I tell them of my plans, I am sure that they will help me raise the money."

"I have a story to tell you," he said, turning to the visiting tzadik, "but I would like you to hear it too," he continued, turning now to the rich man. "It has a worthwhile moral that will do you both good.

Rabbi Meir was sunk in thought. He seemed disturbed. "Your idea does not appeal to me at all. You will be wasting months of precious time which could be far better devoted to Torah study. But I see that you are determined to go. Let me suggest something: why don't you stay here with me for some time first? I guarantee to raise the money for your traveling expenses."

"Many years ago there lived a very prosperous Jew who owned much property. But Moshe was a very stingy person, a miser. He never let a person into his home. If a poor man came knocking at the door, begging for something to eat, he would tell him to go to his neighbor, Matisyahu, a worthy, G-d fearing Jew. 'He will feel far more comfortable there,' Moshe would say to himself.

The visitor thought it over, then decided to accept the offer. The Rebbe did not dismiss him but told his attendant to show in the next person who was waiting to see him.

"And, indeed, this was true. While Matisyahu was not a man of means like his wealthy neighbor, still, his family always had food on their table. And there was always room for one person more, no matter how shabby or dirty the visitor. Reb Matisyahu's home and heart were big enough for everyone in need.

A rich man opened the door and was about to enter when suddenly he spied the man already there. He hesi-


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"All of the townspeople felt a lot of respect for Matisyahu. He was so good! So kind! But if you think that they held him in higher esteem that the stingy Moshe, you are wrong. It is human nature to respect a man with money and they all treated Moshe with a special reverence, even though they knew how stingy he was. "The injustice of this caused turmoil in heaven. The angels came before the heavenly court demanding that Moshe be stripped of his wealth and that these riches be given to none other than Matisyahu the neighbor, who had never denied anyone his help or hospitality. But before the sentence was carried out, Eliyahu Hanavi (Elijah the Prophet) came before the court and said, 'A person should not be judged just by hearsay. I will descend to earth and give Moshe one last chance. I must see if he really is such a miser.' "So Eliyahu disguised himself as a poor man and descended to earth. He knocked on Moshe's door. A servant answered. When he saw the poor, ragged, shivering man he shooed him away. 'Quick, be gone! Go, before my master sees you. He is a mean, cruel person. If he finds you here he will throw both of us out of the house.' He tried to slam the door shut but the poor man had his foot in the door. 'I won't take anything. Just let me warm up by the stove for a few minutes. Don't you see how cold it is outside?' "They were still arguing, when Moshe himself arrived. 'What's going on here?' he asked. 'What do you want?' he demanded of the ragged stranger. "The servant was so terrified at having been caught speaking to a beggar that he was struck dumb with fear. But the stranger showed no awe of


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the master. "'I was asking if I could come in and warm up. I wanted a small glass of shnaps (strong liquor) for my freezing bones.' "'You must be out of your mind. This is not a hotel, nor a charity hostel!' He turned to his servant saying, 'Throw this man out at once!' "Even though he had wanted to be kind, the servant was forced to take the poor man by the lapels and turn him out the door. He shut it tightly behind him. "Eliyahu Hanavi stood outside in the freezing weather, weeping, pleading to be let in just for a few minutes. When he saw that there was no reaction from within, that Moshe had hardened his heart and was ignoring him, he really wept. He wept for Moshe's soul. "Eliyahu returned to the heavenly court. He did not have good news. There was nothing he could say in Moshe's defense. The case rested. Moshe would have to lose his fortune, as had been ruled." After a brief pause, Rebbe Meir continued his story. He raised his voice for emphasis. "When I, Meir, heard of this sentence, I rushed forward to defend this Moshe. 'How can one mete out such dire punishment without warning?' I asked the heavenly court. 'I want to warn Moshe,' I declared. I will not let him be trapped like a poor helpless fly in a spider web. Every Jew deserves a second chance! Allow me to be the court's messenger. If Moshe agrees to give four hundred rubles to this righteous Jew standing here for his traveling expenses to Eretz Yisrael, and if he resolves to mend his ways, he will get his second chance. But if,' and • 323-965-1544 •

here he lowered his voice, 'G-d forbid, he ignored this warning and persisted in his stingy, evil ways, he would lose his entire fortune and would become dependent upon the kindness of others for the rest of his days!'" Rabbi Meir was silent. Turning to the rich man still standing in the door, he continued, "Moshe is here right now. Let us ask him what he says." Moshe could not speak. He burst into tears, then fell to the floor in a faint. The Rebbe and the visitor tried to revive him. When he came back to consciousness, he turned to the Rebbe, saying, "You are so right, Rebbe. I have sinned! I have been evil! But I will turn over a new leaf, I promise. But please have mercy!" He fumbled in his pocket and drew out his purse. He counted out four hundred rubles and gave it to the other man. "Please," he begged, "when you reach Jerusalem, pray for me!" With the four hundred rubles the tzadik and his family were able to go directly to Eretz Yisrael without delay. As for Moshe, his home became an open house for all wayfarers, troubled people, and beggars. His reputation as a generous ba'al tzedaka ("charity giver") traveled far and wide, and he used his great wealth to help his less fortunate brethren in every way. [Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from "Tales of Tzaddikim" (ArtScroll) by G. MaTov] Connection: 160th Yartzeit Biographical note: Rabbi Meir of Primishlan [?-29 Iyar 1850], lived in abject but patient poverty, yet exerted himself tirelessly for the needy and the suffering. His ruach hakodesh (prophetic spirit) and his ready wit have become legendary. He wrote no works, but some of his teachings were collected and published by his chasidim after his death.



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By Chana Weisberg


The Hebrew month of Tishrei is my favorite time of the year. Of course, the nature of the month has much to do with that -- a month brimming over with the whole gamut of holidays ranging from inspirational and cleansing to family oriented, cheerful and fun-filled.

grew more flexible as it tightened around us, providing more room for our respective means of expression.

On a personal level, the twenty-eighth day of this month also marks a very special life-altering day for me -- my own wedding anniversary.

The differences that we had, which had at times seemed irreconcilable, now seem almost petty. What had before infuriated me -- all right, some things still upset me, but now the edge of anger is not as sharp. Sometimes I even have a glimpse of appreciation for how those differences enhance our connection.

So one year ago, as Rosh Hashanah was approaching, I was thinking about anniversaries: the 5,763rd year anniversary celebration of mankind's entry into a relationship with You, G-d, as well as my own seventeen-year marriage anniversary.

I guess that with the familiarity we also both let our guard down more. Careless words stumble out more freely. We don't think as much before acting. The small, sweet gestures for one another may have become less frequent.

While seventeen years may not sound like much, especially in comparison to close to six thousand years, to me, it marks the door that opened a whole new world and life.

But that doesn't hide the intent which is still obviously there. Besides, now his every small effort to please me becomes all the more precious. When he does put that special card on my desk, it means all the more to me.

It feels like yesterday when, as two youngsters, my husband and I felt such a pull one to another. Had someone described our relationship or knowledge of each other in those first weeks and years as superficial, I would have been thoroughly insulted. Maybe other relationships, but not ours. Though we had our differences, our connection was real. And deep. At the time, I could never have imagined that the magnetic bond pulling us together could grow stronger. But the bond did grow. And like an elastic band, it also


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As I was musing about my upcoming anniversary, the thought struck me: Could it be that this same dynamic is mirrored in our relationship, as a people, with You, G-d? True, after all these thousands of years, we may be less sensitive to Your wants and wishes than we had been in the past. Our guard is down; our behavior may no longer reflect the same nuances of care as in previous generations. Our speech and actions don't have the proper consideration and forethought that they are meant to have. We aren't in tune with Your desires as we had been in better times of our history.

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And You, too, don't give Yourself as freely as you did in times gone by. The miracles don't abound. The intimate connection isn't felt as much. Our matrimonial homeland is not imbued with the same holiness and warmth. But maybe, despite this seeming rift and deficiency in our relationship, the bonds of connection are in a way stronger and superior. Each of our actions counts for so much more and, when it really comes down to it, we're ready to sacrifice our very selves for You. I was caught up in these reflections in the week before Tishrei as I busily went about preparing, spiritually and materially, for the upcoming holidays. There was so much to do. Meals to cook, soufflés to bake, dresses to purchase and all the usual hubbub of frenzied household activity for the holiday arrangements. Then, Thursday morning, in midst of these preparations, my husband commented that he must have caught a bad stomach virus. The following morning, a day before the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the bags under his tired eyes indicated that his abdominal pain had not relented but rather kept him up most of the night. By midday the pain intensified unbearably and was now situated just to the left of his stomach. A short and immediate visit to the doctor confirmed our suspicion. "Rush immediately to the hospital for a possible emergency appendix surgery," instructed our family physician. Upon our arrival at the hospital -- ignoring the traffic lights, at my husband's urging -- I could see that he was doubled over in pain. His ashen face was creased in anxiety. Seeing him in such inordinate pain, still uncertain of its cause, as we waited the endless wait in the hospital


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emergency room, made me feel utterly helpless.

drove us home was how to make him more comfortable.

Forgotten at this moment were all the holiday preparations. The recipes sitting on my counter for the fancy desserts, or the pants desperately needing hemming, were completely disregarded.

Have the differences between us gone away? Have I learned not to care when he forgets the garbage? No, I still care, and will care, about these things. But what has surfaced over the last seventeen years is a deeper aspect of the relationship than these gestures will ever represent.

Forgotten as well were all the times in the past that my husband had made a comment that was stupid or reckless. Overlooked were all the times he forgot to take out the garbage or left his jacket thrown over the living room couch, knowing full well how it irked me so. Nor did I think of the times he thoughtlessly forgot to express gratitude for something I did for him. Even the toothpaste tube that he so often carelessly leaves open didn't enter my mind. These didn't matter. Not in the slightest. Not now. As I sat at his bedside awaiting emergency appendix surgery at 3:00 AM on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, exactly 29 days before our seventeenth anniversary, my thoughts were focused entirely on what I could do to ease his pain. As I waited in the nearby waiting room as he was wheeled into the operating room, I was only capable of summoning the strength to mouth nonstop prayers begging G-d that no complications arise and that the operation be successful. And rushing to the recovery room at 4:00 AM, on tired feet that had not let up for twenty-two hours, as he was groggily wheeled from the successful operation, I could only wish that his recuperation be speedy. And when the doctor released him the following afternoon, on his insistence, just hours before Rosh Hashanah, all I could think of as I

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Sure, the gestures are nice. And certainly, we should work on keeping them intact, and even growing. But far more important is the surfacing of the bond that had grown and that will hopefully continue to grow. And this bond that was being revealed is far more potent than any gesture possibly could be. As I stood in shul on Rosh Hashanah listening to the sound of the shofar, I did indeed resolve to make sure to work on those "gestures" that I know are so dear and important to You, G-d. This year, I vowed, I will work on my prayers, on saying my blessings with more concentration and increasing my times of Torah study. I will work, as well, on my patience and tolerance for those around me and on being more careful with the words that come out from my mouth. But though I will work on these things, I realize, too, that my personal bond to You, and our collective bond to You as a people, runs deeper than any of these things possibly could be. Our bond to You means that when it comes right down to it, we are willing to forego our very selves for Your sake. And, standing in shul on Rosh Hashanah, 28 days before my own anniversary, as I resolve to make these improvements for the coming year, I also make one more small resolution. This year, I will make sure to buy him an anniversary card -- on time. •


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DRE Lic. #963418

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

Office Space Available Office and/or Retail Space Available to share/sub-lease, (short/long term) in an existing business in La Brea Area More Info: (323)930-0444 or e-mail:

Call Daniel @ (310) 925 - 9972


High School Teachers: MUSIC

Piano Lessons

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


Piano Lessons for adult & children over six. At your location. First Lesson free. Resonable rates. Call Lidia

310.289.5039 or 310.926.7761


August 27, 2 0 1 0


Next Advertising Deadline

August 6, 2010 Circulation


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

August 13, 2010 Please call

323.965.1544 or email us at


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 great site for after school program Great location for child centered after school or homework programs. 7,500 sq. ft. play yard. 10,000 sq. ft. indoor space. rent all or just a part. Available weeknights after 5:00 pm and on Sundays. No long term lease required! The yard includes modern child play equipment (climbing structure, slides) and swings. Please Call (310) 2885920

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 Bukspan Falafel Express 5577 Reseda Blvd. Tarzana, 9135 (818) 345-5660

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 Bukspan 11921 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90064 (310) 479-5444 Haifa Ben Zaken 8717 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 888-7700


August 27, 2 0 1 0


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 Unique Cafe Rabbi Aron Simkin 18381 Ventura Blvd. Tarzana (818) 757-3100

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


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 Jerusalem Pizza Kehila


(818) 758-9595

Fish In The Village RCC 12450 Burbank Blvd. N.H, 91607 (818) 769-0085

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

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

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

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

17942 Ventura Blvd. Encino, CA 91316

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

• 323-965-1544 •


August 27, 2 0 1 0

• 323-965-1544 •

2010/5771 Celebrating Traditions Gelson’s has everything you need to celebrate with family and tradition this Rosh Hashanah. Gelson’s has helped you celebrate tradition since 1951: from a full line of Empire Kosher Poultry in our meat department, to an extensive assortment of kosher products like Kedem, Streit’s and Manischewitz.

Celebrate with Tradition, Celebrate with Gelson’s.

“May you end this day with a good signature in the book of life.”

Community Links Issue 162  
Community Links Issue 162  

Community Links 162 Rosh Hashana Issue.