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September 22-October 8, 2010

Vol. 6 Issue 164

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Host Committee Louis Graziadio, President, Second Southern Corp. • Scott Felix, Vice President, Hutton Industries • Hon. Michael Antonovich, L.A. County Supervisor, 5th district • Hon. Chuck Devore, California State Assemblyman • Debra Pauly, Councilwoman, Villa Park • Celeste Greig, President, California Republican Assembly • Jennifer Kim, Deputy Dist. Attorney, State of California • Howard Winkler, L.A. Co. Comissioner • Mitchel Egers, Attorney at Law • Stanley Black, CEO, Black Equities,Group, Ltd. • Stanley Diller • Jonah Goldrich • Max Webb • Brian Choi, L.A. Korea Daily • Bob Pacheco, former California State Assemblyman •


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10 THE COMMUNITY LINKS is published biweekly and is distributed free to the Jewish Community of Southern California.

An Etrog From The Garden Of Eden

T r a dit io n al R ole s F o r W o me n

How many elderly needed to be taken care of ? How many ill people needed a place to reside where their needs could be attended to? How many mentally ill children and adults needed a stable place to reside where their needs could be responded to?

"This is the one," called out Rabbi Elimelech delightedly. "Please, dear friend, tell me who are you and where you obtained this wonderful etrog?" Nissan Mandel


Dr. Robert Rome 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.



Naming The Wild

This Is My Torah Scroll

The world is called Olam, which comes from Heelam, meaning “concealment.”

All the Jews were being killed, and Henryk's nanny did not think for a moment that the father, Joseph Foxman, would survive the infamous destruction of the Vilna Ghetto.

Rabbi Reuven Wolf

Ruth Benjamin

community links • Volume 6 Issue 164 4

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id you see the recent ad in the Jewish Journal for The New Israel Fund? Pictured in this ad is a woman donned in Talis and Tefillin leading a women’s prayer service at the women’s section at the Kotel, the Western Wall. The ad then makes reference to the values promoted by this Fund. The implication is that The New Israel Fund will promote “new” values related to women, including giving women rights equal to men. Over the past five decades, the struggle for rights and roles for women in Ju-


September 22,2010

daism have focused in the Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist movements on women being granted the same rights as men. First, there was the goal to have women counted in the minyan. Then, the struggle led to the ordination of women as Rabbis and Cantors. Many of the same Reform congregations which saw men go without Kipah or Talis for decades in a protest against tradition now have women wearing Talis and Tefillin and traditional man-type yarmulkes. Now it is not enough for women to be counted in the minyan. • 323-965-1544 •

Women need to be able to have their own minyan, even at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. As non-traditional Jewish women have sought a role for themselves in Judaism, they have rejected what they perceived to be the “traditional” role for women, a role where women sat behind a partition, were passive participants in the community, and were relegated to the role of “being barefoot and pregnant.” There was only one thing wrong with this perception. It was wrong and untrue. Traditionally in Jewish

ties throughout the world, women were anything but passive in their communities. Women often served in important leadership roles in the community. In some communities, women even had the ability to tax businesses to provide for community needs. Unfortunately, while we now have women rabbis and women wearing Tefillin, our communities lack the traditional functions of women which made many communities so successful for centuries. In a rush to be more like men, women failed to recognize ways in which women brought about change to communities as women. They pursued manly pursuits as Judaism lost the special unique contributions women can and have made. As a psychologist, I am well aware that men and masculinity have often been linked to the mostly negative traits of fighting and aggression. Women and femininity have been linked to positive traits of compassion and caring. Judaism has even divided the characteristics of G-d into masculine and feminine. The Shekhinah, the protective and caring aspect, is perceived as a feminine part. Is the world better off when we eliminate the feminine component from our world, when women wear the clothes of men and assume previously “manly” functions? The problem is that in a rush for equality with men, women failed to realize that the Jewish world before everything was changed by the Holocaust was a very rich world, a world in which women played important roles. Often women led communities in uniquely special ways. Many of these communities were destroyed by the Nazi onslaught and the deportations to Auschwitz. The problem is that the varied roles women played in so many communities were also largely destroyed in the Holocaust. I have had the opportunity to meet and interview many women who had 9 September 8,2010

occupied leadership roles in the island homeland of my ancestors, the Island of Rhodes. In Rhodes and elsewhere, women held many essential roles which guided and took care of communal needs. The communal leadership was divided between religious and social needs. The Kehillah or synagogue functions were led by men, while the social functions were led by women. The Rabbis and President of the synagogues were men, but a look at the historical organizational leadership of the community reveals the essential roles women played. There were elderly, but no nursing homes. There were the sick, but for most of the time, no real hospitals. There were the mentally ill, but no institutions to care for the mentally ill. Taking on these and other social obligations in the community were women who held the special title La Hermana (“Sister”). Another role primarily occupied by women also with this title was the role of healer. Women handed down to subsequent generations of women the herbal and other cures. How to respond to colds, influenza, back pain, and other ailments was in the hands of capable women. But it is in the first role as caring for the needs of the community that the role of women in leadership in Rhodes piques our interest. Las Hermanas assessed the community needs. How many elderly needed to be taken care of ? How many ill people needed a place to reside where their needs could be attended to? How many mentally ill children and adults needed a stable place to reside where their needs could be responded to? How many families had an available bed for any of these in need? What would be the cost of care? Women assigned which families and homes would take in the sick or elderly. To be fair, care would be rotated every six months so that no one family would

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be asked to assume the full burden of care for any individual. To pay for and support the families providing special care, an Hermana could and did tax businesses and other families. Families or business leaders who declined to provide care or pay assessed taxes could be and were excommunicated. Women served the kind of roles now occupied by the Federation, the Jewish Family Service, the Jewish Home for the Aging, Gateway Hospital, and Cedars-Sinai. It was through the leadership of women that the integrity of the community was preserved. The example of Rhodes is just one of many communities throughout Europe and the Mediterranean areas. Countless communities saw women in these same kinds of leadership roles prior to World War II and the changes brought about by the War and the destruction of communities in the Holocaust. The Jewish community on Rhodes was destroyed with the deportation of almost all of the Jews of Rhodes to Auschwitz in July 1944. Jews had lived on Rhodes continuously since biblical times. Of a community of about 1700 in 1944, over 1500 perished in the camps. Not only were the people destroyed, but the customs long held in the community, including the

special leadership roles of women, were largely lost with the destruction of the community. With the loss of these communities and their customs, many outstanding examples of traditional roles for women in the community were lost. So in the 1960’s when the quest by women for increased opportunity for leadership and other communal roles reached a crescendo in the Jewish community, the historic roles of women in traditional communities remained largely lost in the ashes and aftermath of the Holocaust. Women in the 60’s and 70’s (and afterword) pursued opportunities in the only leadership roles in the Jewish community that they understood, within the ritual component of the community. They demanded the opportunity to serve as Rabbis. They wanted to be counted in the Minyan. They remained totally ignorant that just a couple of decades earlier, women had the right to tax the community and assign communal responsibilities to families and individuals. You disobeyed these women leaders at your own peril. No one who challenged the authority of these women could be buried in the Jewish cemetery or have any other rights within the community. The women who were

fighting for “equality” were ignorant of these other roles women played. We are witnessing the dying out of those who lived on Rhodes before the deportation. We are also witnessing the final days of the final survivors from Hungary, Sarejevo, Romania, Poland, and other places decimated by the Holocaust. Just a few years after the Holocaust, other communities were destroyed when after the proclamation of the Independence of Israel, Arab lands expelled the remaining Jews in Iraq, Syria, and later Lebanon and Egypt, and North Africa. With the losses of these communities, losses of local customs, including the historic roles of women in the communities resulted. In an effort to collectively recall these customs, we have just a small window of opportunity to interview the remaining survivors of the lost communities and record for perpetuity the customs before they may be permanently lost. We do not need women to merely become more like men. We need women to exert the historic, traditional roles that women had occupied for centuries of Jewish life. •

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


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“And the Lord God formed from the earth every beast of the field and every fowl of the heavens, and He brought [it] to man to see what he would call it, and whatever the man called each living thing, that was its name.” (Bereshis, 2:19) Many commentators deal with what seems to be a trivial matter – did Adam also name the fish? Some, like

ticular spiritual qualities and talents. Of course, the supreme angels of the divine realm have no physical description or resemblance to any earthly creatures; nevertheless, there are spiritual similarities between them. According to the Kabbalists, Adam detected that all creatures in our world have an angelic, spiritual source above and he was able to find their connections.

Bereishis: Naming The Wild

The Chassidic master, Rabbi Dov Ber, The Maggid of Mezeritch, points O UR CALLING AS HUMAN BEINGS to an even higher and deeper aspect of Adam’s the Radak and the Chezkuni conclude naming. The Maggid explains that that Adam didn’t name the fish. Othwhen Adam named the animals, he reers, like the Medrash Tanchuma and vealed their source in the divinity that Medrash Chasir V’Yatir say that Adam goes beyond the worlds of angels – he did indeed name them. revealed their G-dly essence. Adam’s names were not only indicative of What is the deeper significance of each creation’s spiritual equivalent, but this dispute? the names also revealed the quality of To understand this, we must underdivine energy used in their creation. stand the power of a name. The At the start of the Parsha, we learn Medrash explains that not only did how everything in is created by G-d’s Adam name all of the creatures, but words, a total of ten utterances, which he called them by their appropriate include “Let there be light” and “Let names. Adam’s incredible wisdom was there be a firmament…” Rabbi Dov able to discern the true nature and Ber explains that the wisdom of essence of the creature and deduce Adam was that he was able to crack the most fitting and beautiful name the divine code, and get to the words for it. of G-d that created all the creations, The Ramban and Rabenu Bechaya which is much higher than just their comment that Adam was able to spiritual sources. glimpse at an animal for a moment The Be’er Mayim Chaim, Sfas Emes, and immediately detect its unique talTanya and other Chassidic masters exents and traits, and its names reflected plain the power of a Hebrew name. It these characteristics. channels divine energy, which is the The Kabbalists assign the names source of life of this creation. By calleven deeper significance. The Shlah ing something by its name, we reveal HaKadosh explains that beyond just its spiritual content and its divine physical characteristics, Adam was essence. This is the significance of able to recognize the spiritual sources Adam’s wisdom in the calling of of the creations. For example, an ox names. here on Earth is derived from the face Even so, what benefit did Adam’s of the angel called “Ox” that is on the names bring to the creation, whether divine chariot and is imbued with par-


September 22,2010

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they revealed physical, spiritual or divine characteristics? Couldn’t G-d name the creations Himself ? Furthermore, if Adam’s names revealed the creations’ essence, why might he have skipped the fish and denied them this privilege? Examining the location of the naming within the Parsha provides a new context for this dispute. The first chapter of Bereshis is the story of G-d creating the entire world and its inhabitants, including mankind. After the entire creation is completed, begins the story of mankind in detail. Man is given a purpose - to be the caretaker of the garden. This follows with the first failures of humanity and the terrible fall, through the end of the portion, where the world becomes filled with corruption. Somewhere between these two stages, Adam named the creatures. Was the naming the last part of G-d’s creation, furthering the creation, or the beginning of man’s work of rectification within the creation? The world is called Olam, which comes from Heelam, meaning “concealment.” Before the creation existed, G-d was alone, He was the only reality. The world conceals this truth. The fact that we can look at any object or creature and see only that thing, and not G-d himself, is a distortion. G-d’s “work” in creation was creating a place which seems dark and separate from Him. Creation evolves away from Him, further concealing His true greatness, and thereby allowing the expansion of One into the illusion of many. The many things that exist enable us to live in darkness and confusion of the ultimate truth. Even the first day of creation exhibited this separation – albeit in a limited way - there was now heaven and earth. Everything was still intermingled, and

it was only on the second day that G-d created boundaries and separations – confining spirituality to the heavens and the physical to earth. Nevertheless, the first day already exhibited a lack of unity on some level. Day after day, as the creation emerged further, the details became increasingly apparent, and the oneness of G-d was concealed, seemingly farther dispersed. The final aspect in concealing the creator, was the naming of the animals, since that further emphasized the individuality and pluralistic nature of the creation. Of course, G-d made a concealed world for a reason. He desired a world where He was initially hidden from the creations because He wants man to work on discovering Him. Man must discover the oneness within the many. On the other hand, naming, can serve the total opposite, to reveal the intrinsic bond between the creator and his creations. The Medrash (Bereishis Rabbah 17:4) tells that the Angels did not understand the purpose of man’s existence. G-d showed them that Man’s wisdom was greater than theirs. He brought all of the creatures before them and the angels couldn’t name them, but Adam was able to name them easily, and the angels conceded. The story of the Medrash is quite puzzling. If, as explained before, the animals are derived from their spiritual counterparts, for example, the ox below reflecting the Ox above - meaning that the spiritual root of their souls are the same – how could the angels not recognize themselves? How was Adam able to recognize them? Even though the spiritual energy of an angel and an earthly creation may stem from the same place, they are


September 22,2010

still worlds apart. For example, when a lion roars here on Earth, it is expressing a passion to shred an animal and devour it. In the spiritual worlds, the angel Michael, the lion, also roars – but his roar is stemming from a passion to be absorbed in G-d’s divine light. The angels saw the creations’ passion, but it manifested so differently that they couldn’t recognize it; only Adam was able to understand it. The Baal Shem Tov explains that whenever we have a physical desire or craving for something, it’s actually our soul that is craving for the spirituality within that thing. There are sparks of holiness embedded within what we desire, and our soul is destined to unlock those sparks and unite them with their source. For example, if a person smells fresh popcorn, and desires it, there is actually something deeply spiritual waiting within the popcorn. The challenge of this popcorn is not to get lost within its physicality. If the person grabs the popcorn, and without a thought, starts munching and crunching the popcorn without any spiritual thought or dimension, then the G-dly craving is unrealized, and the spark isn’t elevated. All that’s left is a grossly physical act into which G-d was not taken into consideration.

together, because they are purely spiritual beings. Only man can taste both the physical and the spiritual, because man is a creature who is part heaven and part earth - he has a soul and a body. Man can balance the two, and reveal the feelings of the soul in the body’s workings. That’s why the angels couldn’t understand the earthy creations; they didn’t know how to relate to their physical desires. This is our job every day. From the early morning, as soon as we walk into the street and are faced with life on earth, we must call names. A carpenter gets wood, and he needs to call out its name, a smith gets metal, an artist finds a canvas and paint, some have a computer, others face the steering wheel of a car. We must truly “name” everything we come across - its man’s job to reveal the G-dly content of the world. We can do this by connecting to the spiritual through sincere prayer and connection to G-d. From here, when we walk out into the world, we know that everything is created for G-d, for divine service. By doing this, and utilizing physical things for their G-dly purpose, we reveal the soul that is within the body, and we reveal the true name of the object. We change the world.

When the holy Baal Shem Tov ate, Now, whether or not Adam named every bite was a manifestation of a the fish is of great significance. spiritual event, the release and return of divine energies back to their spiritual We buy your airlines miles and Amex Points sources. On some level, we all have this ability. The angels don’t have the power to bring heaven and earth



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Fish live their lives constantly submerged within the physical source of their lives, the water. If a fish somehow exits the water, its life is at stake. They are clearly and obviously dependent on their source of life. Land creatures, live outside of their source. While the ground is their only source of food and serves as a host for shelter, the land creatures have far more independence – they can go out on a boat, in a submarine, an airplane, or even to outer space. The fact that fish are more closely connected to their physical source represents that spiritually they are connected to G-d on a higher consciousness than land creatures. For example, if one feels that G-d holds him on a little string, and feels constantly in need of G-d and His miracles to sustain his life, then his mind is constantly occupied with G-d and His wants and needs. As soon as one gains a sense of independence and success, he begins to live the illusion that he is on his own that he has the freedom and power of control. The higher state of “fish consciousness” is less susceptible to corruption. In the time of the great Flood, the fish, unlike the land creatures, remained pure and were not corrupted. The fish are closer to their source and weren’t influenced by the surrounding evil. Those commentators which explain that Adam didn’t name the fish understand that naming them would have caused a distinguishing of characteristics and an individuality that goes against what the fish represent. Fish are already embedded within their source, and by naming them they will be further individualized and disconnected from it. On the other hand, those commentators which explain that Adam did indeed name the fish understand that naming has a deeper purpose than just characterization. When Adam named the creations, he was elevating and reconnecting them to their source. Even if the fish started at a higher level, there are always an infinite number of even higher levels, and the fish can benefit from a spiritual elevation, just like any other created being, and man has the power to actualize this elevation. We must always remember that we have this incredible power. In our daily routine, we can call out the names of the creation – we can connect heaven and earth, merge G-d with the creation, and fulfill our purpose. G-d willing, we will finish our work quickly and see the redemption very soon. • 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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young American discovered his glorious heritage and became an observant Jew. He began to learn Torah and to fulfill mitzvot, and even when he returned to his parents' home he continued to observe G-d's Torah and to learn it very diligently.

to make a party. I've finished learning a whole page of Talmud!"

His elder father was very distant from traditional Judaism and had no idea what it was all about. He was already retired from his work at that time, and wandered around the house with nothing to do. Watching his son poring over his Talmud, the father was very impressed. His son's life seemed to be so full of content and values. Finally, one day he approached his son.

But the father was insistent. He would throw his party.

"Teach me a page of what you're learning," he said. "This will be very hard for you," the son replied. "In order to understand Talmud, you first need to know Hebrew, and you don't even know the aleph-beit. And there's a second language involved: Aramaic." But his father was determined. In spite of everything, he asked his son to teach him at least one page of Talmud. The son began to teach him. However, his visit was a short one and they could only continue during his infrequent subsequent visits. In this way, it took a full year of learning together before they finished the page.

"There is a custom of making a party for the completion of an entire tractate of the Talmud, called a siyum," the son admitted, "but not for a single page." At a loss, the son went to Rabbi Moshe Feinstein to ask if such a thing -- a siyum on one page of Talmud -- was acceptable. "Make a siyum," Rabbi Feinstein instructed. Then he added, "Let me know when it will be. I wish to take part in this joyous occasion!" And so it was that a siyum was made on a single page of Talmud learned by a man with his son over the course of a full year. Rabbi Feinstein attended the siyum, heaping praise on the elderly father who had not let any difficulty get in the way of achieving his goal.

The next morning, the old man did not wake up from his sleep. He had died in the night -- the type of death they call "the kiss of G-d." Rabbi Feinstein came to the funeral and delivered a eulogy. In it he declared, "The Talmud records that there are those who purchase their World-to-come in a single hour. Now we see it is possible When they were done, the father cried jubilantly, "I want to do so with a single page." • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from "Stories my Grandfather told me" (Mesorah) by Zev Greenwald.] Biographical note:

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1895 - 13 Adar B 1986) was born in Uzdan, near Minsk, Belorussia. He became rabbi of Luban while young and remained there till 1937. After that he immigrated with his family to the United States, to the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There he became Rosh HaYeshivah of Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim, which became world-famous because of his presence. He became the most important halachic authority of his generation, and his rulings were accepted worldwide. They have been published in a multi-volume collection called Igros Moshe. ~~~~~~~~~~~ Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of

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t was the first day of Sukkot, and all the congregants in the shul of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizensk were in a festive mood. One could feel the "Yom-Tov" spirit in the atmosphere. As Rabbi Elimelech stood at the lectern and began reciting Hallel, all eyes turned upon him. There was something unusual in his manner this Sukkot. Why did he stop so suddenly in the middle of his swaying as he held the etrog and lulav in his hands to sniff the air? And why did he not go through the Service in his usual leisurely manner? It was evident that something was on his mind, something rather exciting by the look on his radiant countenance. The minute the davening was over, Rabbi Elimelech hurried to where his brother Rabbi Zusha (who had come to spend the festival with him) was standing, and said to him eagerly: "Come and help me find the etrog which is permeating the whole shul with the fragrance of the Garden of Eden!" And so together they went from person to person until they reached the far corner of the shul where a quiet looking individual was standing, obviously engrossed in his own thoughts. "This is the one," called out Rabbi Elimelech delightedly. "Please, dear friend, tell me who are you and where you obtained this wonderful etrog?" The man, looking somewhat startled and bewildered at this unexpected question, replied rather slowly, carefully choosing his words: "With all due respect to you, Rabbi, it is quite a story. Do you wish to sit down and listen to it all?" "Most certainly I do," answered Rabbi Elimelech emphatically, "I am sure it will be a story worth hearing!" "My name," began the quiet-looking man, "is Uri, and I come from Strelisk. I have always regarded taking the "four kinds" on Sukkot as one of my favorite mitzvot, and so, although I am a poor man and could normally not afford to buy an etrog according to my desire, my young wife, who agrees with me as to its importance, helps me by hiring herself out as cook. Thus she is independent of any financial help from me, and I can use my own earnings for spiritual matters. I am employed as melamed in the village of Yanev, which is not far from my native town. One half of my earnings I use for our needs and with the other half I buy an etrog in Lemberg. But in order not to spend any money on the journey I usually go on foot. "This year, during the Ten Days of Repentance, I was


September 22,2010

making my way on foot as usual, with fifty gulden in my purse with which to buy an etrog, when on the road to Lemberg I passed through a forest and stopped at a wayside inn to have a rest. It was time for 'minchah' so I stood in a corner and davened minchah. "I was in the middle of my prayers when I heard a terrible sound of moaning and groaning, as of one in great anguish. I hurriedly finished my davening so that I could find out what was the trouble, and if I could help in any way. "As I turned towards the man who was in obvious distress, I beheld a most unusual and rough looking person, dressed in peasant garb with a whip in his hands, pouring out his troubles to the inn-keeper at the bar. "From the somewhat confused story, between his sobs, I managed to gather that the man with the whip was a poor Jew who earned his living as a baal agallah (owner of a horse and cart for carting purposes). He had a wife and several children and he barely managed to earn enough to make ends meet. And now, a terrible calamity had be fallen him. His horse, without which he could do nothing, had suddenly collapsed in the forest not far from the inn, and just lay there unable to get up. "I could not bear to see the man's despair and tried to encourage him, by telling him that he must not forget that there is a G-d above us who could help him in his trouble, however serious it seemed to him. "I'll sell you another horse for fifty gulden, although I assure you he is worth at least eighty, but just to help you out in your difficulty!' " The inn-keeper was saying to the wagon driver. "I haven't even fifty cents, and he tells me I can buy a horse for fifty gulden!' the man said bitterly. "I felt I could not keep the money I had with me for an etrog when here was a man in such desperate plight that his very life and that of his family depended upon his getting a horse. So I said to the inn-keeper: "'Tell me what is the lowest price you would take for your horse?' "The inn-keeper turned to me in surprise. If you pay me on the spot, I will take forty-five gulden, but absolutely not a cent less. I am selling my horse at a loss as it is!' "I immediately took out my purse and banded him fortyfive gulden, the wagon driver looking on, his eyes nearly bulging out of their sockets in astonishment. He was just

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speechless with relief, and his joy was absolutely indescribable. "'Now you see that the Almighty can help you, even when the situation appears to you to be entirely hopeless” I said to him as he hurried off with the innkeeper to harness the newly-bought horse to his forsaken cart tied to the stricken horse in the forest. "As soon as they went off, I hurriedly got my few things together and disappeared, as I did not want to be embarrassed by the thanks of the grateful wagon driver. "I eventually reached Lemberg with the remaining five gulden in my pocket, and naturally had to content myself with buying a very ordinary looking but kosher etrog. Usually my etrog is the best in Yanev, and everyone used to come and make a blessing over it , but this year I was ashamed to return home with such a poor-looking specimen, so my wife agreed that I could come here to Lizensk, where nobody knew me." "But my dear Rabbi Uri," cried out Rabbi Elimelech, now that the former had finished his story, "Yours is indeed an exceptional etrog. Now I realize why your etrog has the fragrance of the Garden of Eden in its perfume! Let me tell you the sequel to your story." "When the wagon driver whom you saved thought about his unexpected good fortune, he decided that you must have been none other than the Prophet Elijah whom the Almighty had sent down to earth in the form of a man, in order to help him in his desperation. Having come to this conclusion the happy wagon driver looked for a way of expressing his gratitude to the Almighty, but the poor man knew not a Hebrew word, nor could he say any prayers. He racked his simple brain for the best way of thanksgiving. "Suddenly his face lit up. He took his whip and lashed it into the air with all his might, crying out with all his being: 'Dear Father in Heaven, I love you very much! What can I do to convince you of my love for you? Let me crack my whip for you as a sign that I love you!' Saying which, the wagon driver cracked his whip into the air three times. "On the eve of Yom Kippur, the Almighty up above was seated on His 'Seat of judgment,' listening to the first prayers of the Day of Atonement. "Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, who was acting as the Counsel for Defense on behalf of his fellow Jews, was pushing a wagon full of Jewish mitzvot to the Gates of Heaven, when Satan appeared and obstructed his path with piles of Jewish sins, so that Rabbi Levi Yitzchak just got stuck there. My brother Rabbi Zusha and I added our strength to help him move his wagon forward, but all in vain; even our combined efforts proved fruitless. "Suddenly there came the sound of the cracking of a whip which rent the air, causing a blinding ray of light to appear, lighting up the whole universe, right up to the very heavens! There we saw the angels and all the righteous seated in a circle, singing G-d’s praise. On hearing the wagon driver's words as he cracked his whip in ecstasy, they responded: 'Happy is the King who is thus praised!' "All at once, the Angel Michael appeared, leading a horse, followed by the wagon driver with whip in hand. "The Angel Michael harnessed this horse to the wagon of mitzvot, and the wagon driver cracked his whip. Suddenly the wagon gave a lurch forward, flattening the piles of sins that had been obstructing the way, and drove it smoothly and easily right up to the Throne of Honor. There the King of Kings received it most graciously and, rising from the Seat of judgment, went over and seated Himself on the Seat of Mercy. A happy New Year was assured." "And now dear Rabbi Uri" concluded Rabbi Elimelech, "you see that all this came about through your noble action. Go home, and be a leader in Israel! For you have proved your worthiness, and you shall carry with you the approval of the Heavenly Court. But before you go, permit me to hold this wonderful etrog of yours, and praise G-d with it." By Nissan Mindel


September 22,2010

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People of the Book

Chaya Shuchat


ack and forth the polemics fly, across the reaches of Cyberspace.

We debate everything, from equal rights to Israeli politics. But for the most part, we deconstruct the Bible. Our differences in perspective could not have been starker. For one, I believe that the Torah is the absolute word of G-d and an instructor and guide for everyday life. My friend


September 22,2010

Carol believes that it is an eclectic collection of wisdom and fanciful legends, penned by many diverse individuals over time. I believe that the characters in the Bible are real people, my ancestors in fact. She insists that most are mythical heroes, and the events described mainly metaphorical. I question why she takes the word of an archeologist at face value while rejecting the historic testimony of an • 323-965-1544 •

entire nation. For her part, she can't comprehend how this ancient document filled with puzzling statements serves as my guide for 21st century living. She does not understand my gullibility -- how I credulously accept Bible stories as perfect truth. I try to explain the need to study the oral Torah -- the interpretations handed down to Moses on Sinai, passed from one generation of sages to the next. Carol doesn't understand why the

group decisions of men who lived centuries ago should be followed with such scrupulousness today. As we play round after round, I think bemusedly of how easily our roles could have been reversed. The divergence of the Jewish nation into separate paths is a relatively recent historical phenomenon. My greatgrandparents, as well as hers, were devout Jews; our grandparents had lost their Jewish observance somewhere in the immigration shuffle; my babyboomer parents reclaimed theirs in their teens. The awareness that I am where I am is only due to a quirk of history leads me to tone down my rhetoric, to think before I speak. I imagine us doing a role swap, with Carol patiently teaching me the Torah that my parents never knew. The switch seems so natural, in my imagination. It reminds me that I do not speak for Torah; the Torah speaks for us.

Slowly, we find common ground. I accept some of her metaphorical interpretations of Torah's stories, although I still insist that the events described in the Torah did in fact take place. She begins to incorporate more mitzvot in her personal life, lighting Shabbat candles, performing a havdalah ceremony. Her children learn about their Judaism, and are proud of it. Eventually the battle winds down; we both tire. When I sense an edge to our conversations, I back off, sometimes for months. I don't want to push too hard; I value our friendship too highly. Our dialogues turn to more mundane topics. Our kids. Trips to the zoo. After some months, she hesitantly admits that she misses our discussions. Somewhere inside, she tells me, through all our exchanges, she felt something come alive. I think I know

what she means. Her challenges had ignited that very same passion in me and sent me diving into books for hours deep into the night. It's our stubborn Jewish soul asserting itself, screaming for expression. We debate, we grope, and we struggle to define the eternally relevant message of Torah. Beneath the surface disagreements, we share a deeply embedded, unbreakable bond with the Book that made our nation famous. It is Simchat Torah. In the synagogue, we take out the Torah scroll, unopened, wrapped in its mantle. Holding it aloft, we hug it close to our hearts and dance. We embrace its totality, as we celebrate our unique relationship with this scroll that has kept us and molded us into the People we are today. Reaching back through history, forward for eternity, the Torah is ours, and we are hers. •


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September 22,2010

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"This Is My Torah Scroll"

By Ruth Benjamin


September 22,2010

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enryk was very young in 1945, when the War ended and solitary survivors tried frantically to trace their relatives. He had spent what seemed to be most of his life with his nanny, who had hidden him away from the Nazis at his father's request. There was great personal risk involved, but the woman had readily taken it, as she loved the boy. All the Jews were being killed, and Henryk's nanny did not think for a moment that the father, Joseph Foxman, would survive the infamous destruction of the Vilna Ghetto. He would surely have been transferred to Auschwitz -— and everyone knew that nobody ever came back from Auschwitz. She therefore had no scruples about adopting the boy, having him baptized into the Catholic Church and taught catechism by the local priest. It was Simchat Torah when his father came to take him. The heartbroken nanny had packed all his clothing and his small catechism book, stressing to the father that the boy had become a good Catholic. Joseph Foxman took his son by the hand and led him directly to the Great Synagogue of Vilna. On the way, he told his son that he was a Jew and that his name was Avraham.

Not far from the house, they passed the church and the boy reverently crossed himself, causing his father great anguish. Just then, a priest emerged who knew the boy, and when Henryk rushed over to kiss his hand, the priest spoke to him, reminding him of his Catholic faith. Everything inside of Joseph wanted to drag his son away from the priest and from the church. But he knew that this was not the way to do things. He nodded to the priest, holding his son more closely. After all, these people had harbored his child and saved the child's life. He had to show his son Judaism, living Judaism, and in this way all these foreign beliefs would be naturally abandoned and forgotten. They entered the Great Synagogue of Vilna, now a remnant of a past, vibrant Jewish era. There they found some Jewish survivors from Auschwitz who had made their way back to Vilna and were now rebuilding their lives and their Jewish spirits. Amid the stark reality of their suffering and terrible loss, in much diminished numbers, they were singing and dancing with real joy while celebrating Simchat Torah. Avraham stared wide-eyed around him and picked up a tattered prayer book with a touch of affection.

Something deep inside of him responded to the atmosphere, and he was happy to be there with the father he barely knew. He held back, though, from joining the dancing. A Jewish man wearing a Soviet Army uniform could not take his eyes off the boy, and he came over to Joseph. "Is this child... Jewish?" he asked, a touch of awe in his voice. The father answered that the boy was Jewish and introduced his son. As the soldier stared at Henryk-Avraham, he fought to hold back tears. "Over these four terrible years, I have traveled thousands of miles, and this is the first live Jewish child I have come across in all this time. Would you like to dance with me on my shoulders?" he asked the boy, who was staring back at him, fascinated. The father nodded permission, and the soldier hoisted the boy high onto his shoulders. With tears now coursing down his cheeks and a heart full of real joy, the soldier joined in the dancing. "This is my Torah scroll," he cried. Abe Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League -- the Avraham in our story -- remembers this as his first conscious feeling of a connection with Judaism and of being a Jew. •

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oom and despair and destruction. It all happened so fast after the promises of an idyllic life. And all from two bites of the forbidden fruit. Man, who was promised eternal bliss in the Garden of Eden is now cursed with a plethora of misfortunes. He must toil by the sweat of his brow, work an earth that will produce thorn and thistle. His wife must bear the pain of childbirth with all of its physiological implications. All these are crowned with the most powerful malediction that "you are of dust and to dust you shall return. But it seems that Adam takes all the news in proper perspective. In the verse that immediately follows the curses, Adam does not spread blame or lament his fate. He continues developing civilization exactly where he left off. Prior to his meeting Eve and partaking of the forbidden fruit, Adam began classifying all living things with names that appropriately described their attributes. After the curses he continues. He names his wife. "Adam called his wife Chava because she was the mother of all life." (Genesis 3:20) Isn't it unsuitable for Adam to name his wife Chava -- the mother of all life -- immediately following the curse of death? What message is the Torah sending us with that juxtaposition?


Rav Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev was known for his love and good will toward his fellow Jews always trying to assess the good in people rather than expose the bad.

Once on the Fast of Tish'a B'av he saw a Jew eating in a non-kosher restaurant. He tapped lightly on the window of the establishment and summoned the man outside. "Perhaps you forgot that today is a fast day?" Rav Levi Yitzchok queried. "No, Rebbe," the man replied. "Then perhaps you did not realize that this restaurant in not kosher." "No, Rebbe, I know it is a traife (non-kosher) eatery." Rav Levi Yitzchok softly placed his hands on the man's shoulders and looked heavenward. "Ribbono Shel Olam, Master of the Universe," he exclaimed. "Look at how wonderful your children are. They may be eating on a fast day. In a non-kosher restaurant to boot. Yet they refuse to emit a falsehood from their lips!" Adam heard the curse bestowed upon himself, his wife, and humanity for eternity. His immediate reaction was not scorn or criticism. He named his wife Chava, derived from the word life. He viewed the woman whom he had once blamed for his downfall with a different perspective. He saw only the eve of life -- and thus named her so. After tragedy and defeat there is enough blame to share and spread. Adam picked up the pieces and cherished the beauty of what was left. He did not see himself on the eve of destruction. He saw himself standing at the dawn of life. And he appreciated that life dearly. •

Eve of Life Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky


September 22,2010

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September 22,2010

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Seared Rib-Eye Steak with Arugula and Roasted Pepper Salad

Racheli & Ari Trainer

• 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing


• 2 (1-inch-thick) rib-eye steaks

Chayale Baras & Mendel Berkowitz

(about 1 pound each)

• 3 cups arugula, washed and dried • 11/2 cups roasted peppers, rinsed and patted dry • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

• Kosher salt ground black pepper

Malka Fishman & Levi Lesches

Directions In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season steaks with salt and pepper. When pan starts to smoke, carefully add steaks. Allow the steaks to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on 1 side, without moving or piercing the meat. This will help create a good, crusty sear. When steaks are brown, flip and sear the other side for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove meat to a large plate and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Decoratively line a large platter with arugula. Tear the roasted peppers into large pieces and scatter over the arugula. In a small bowl, whisk in the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar and any meat juices that may have collected on the plate from the steaks. Season with salt and pepper.

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Slice the steaks across the grain and on a bias into 1 1/2inch thick pieces. Lay the slices on top of the salad and drizzle with dressing.

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Robin Schultz Ackerman


will help you eliminate unwanted hair! Doctor referred over 10 years in the community. Reasonable rates, Flexible hours open Sundays by appt. Call anytime for an appt.

Piano Lessons

One man band to a full orchestra Contact now for availability & rates


Eli's One Man Band

for all your simchas and special events. For more info Please call Eli Stiefel 310-462-5368 or email m -1510-


310.289.5039 or 310.926.7761


A Time for Dance

What do I do when my child (fill in your least acceptable behavior)? Take the best parenting class in town to learn how to deal with misbehavior, discouragement and poor school performance. In addition, acquire all the skills necessary to raise confident, independent, and responsible children. Appropriate for ages 0-5, 6-11, and teens. Individual or group sessions. Affordable. Call Irine Schweitzer, LCSW for more information,

JOIN THE FUN THIS SUMMER! come join the fun!! Offering Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Gymnastics, Modern, Kickboxing, Acting, Singing and more! Girls and Women. All levels available. 3 convenient locations. Beverly / Labrea, Pico/Robertson and North Hollywood (323) 404-0827 www. BOOKKEEPING

For all your bookkeeping needs

@ 818 754-4501. -1548-



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

Parenting With Wisdom


BEAUTY -1540-

Please Call 323-933-5960 or 323-348-8786

GUITAR INSTRUCTION Private Lessons or small Group (323)934-2448. Learn the Univeral Language of Music with a Jewish Accent!

The David Sudaley Band


Individuals looking for a Lubavitch shidduch (18-35) should contact the LA Group through their email: SNLA770@gmail.c om. Please send a complete bio and references.

September 22,2010



310-595-5490 MENDELS@GMAIL.COM

• 323-965-1544 •


Are you Unemployed and collecting Unemployment Benefits? FULL Financial Aid is available to unemployed individuals. Receive career training at NO COST to YOU. These funds are available through President Obama’s Economic Stimulus Package. Act now while funds are available. Los Angeles ORT Technical Institute has several Nationally Accredited Career Training Programs. Please call 323-966-5444. Ask for Flora or Jesse. 800.998.2678-784-

Raizy Grossman 310-279-2139 BE INFORMED Sign up today to receive the Community Links, Community Alerts, & Community exclusive updates directly to your inbox. Send your email information to


Brand new two bedroom guest house available in Pico/Robertson area. Kitchen, Bathroom, & Small Living room. $1,000 monthly. Please Call 818-508-881







Beverly Hills Adjacent Home for Sale or Rent 4 Bedroom 2 Bath Vintage Luxury Home w/ full kitchen and bath guest house, floors, Lrg Luxury Granite Kitchen w/ pantry, vaulted ceilings, breakfast room, formal dining room, Jacuzzi, 2 car garage, Laundry, Waterfall and Sauna. Lots of Builtins. 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment w/ hardwood floors. Pico/Robertson for lease.

Call Daniel @ (310) 925 - 9972

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: 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) 288-5920


Exquisite Two Room Apartment / Office Available * Kitchenette * A/C * Full Bathroom-Tiled * Utilities Included * Private Entrance * Totally Detached * Centrally Located * Furnished * Heart of the La Brea / Beverly Area * Walking distance from Shuls & Kosher Stores Call Leah 323.708.5122 ~ 323.935.2869 RESPECTED MAN LOOKING FOR A LIVE IN

Looking for an emotionally stable, kind and optimistic man to live with and assist a healthy, pleasant and kind older respected religious man who lives in San Diego. Assistance needed with driving to medical appointments, some cooking and necessary chores around the house. Payment includes room and board. You may leave the home to do your work for 2-3 hours a day.Call Leah at 323 935 2869 or 323 708 5122

FOR SALE Bev/La Brea 4 bedroom, Pool Guest Apt. Kosher Kitchen

FOR RENT One bedroom House, with units behind. 1000+ sq. ft. large bright living room and dining room. FOR LEASE Storefront Fairfax & So of Olympic, approx 1500 sq. ft. Call Margalit: Miller Real Estate& Management 310.210.3038

Next Advertising Deadline

October 3, 2010 Circulation

October 8, 2010 Please call

323.965.1544 or email us at

DRE Lic. #963418



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

Charming Guest House with private patio, furnished, Kosher kitchenette & private bathroom on Olympic & La Jolla. Month to month with month security. No smoking, no pets, References please. Call David at Home: 323934-4826. Cell: 323-6874154

Looking for an educational aide who is warm, responsible, to work in a Jewish Day school in thousand Oaks for an 10 year old boy. Special education experienced preferred and Pleas or teaching experience. Please call 818708-1989



One bedroom for rent with bathroom, laundry and kosher kitchen available. Utilities included. Month to month contract with month security. References please. Call David at Home: 323934-4826. Cell: 323-6874154

September 22,2010


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 • 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 Kehila Shawarma Express 5577 Reseda Blvd. Tarzana, 9135 (818) 342-2226

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


September 22,2010


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 •


September 22,2010

• 323-965-1544 •

Community LInks Issue 164  

Community Links Chaol Hamoed and Simchas Torah Issue

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