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October 8-October 22, 2010
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The Rain Maker
F i g h t in g Fo r T h e Life O f A Ch ild
We all want to see an end to cancer. We want to see an end to heart disease. And we want to see an end to crippling conditions and genetic disorders which impact our children.
The obvious question is how can we say that Noach lacked, even to a tiny extent, faith? Parshas Noach Rabbi Mordechai Kaminetsky
Dr. Robert Rome
Noach The Mirror Effect
So, if G-d plans things so that we should be in a particular place, at a particular time, and notice a specific thing, it is because it’s important for us to pay attention to it, learn from it, and incorporate the G-dliness within it.
Did You Ask To be Born?
"Now," instructed the wise man, "you may each select for yourselves any one of these gifts. The choice is yours--take any package you desire." Yanki Tauber
Rabbi Reuven Wolf
community links • Volume 6 Issue 165 4
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October 8, 2010
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Fighting For The Life Of A Child
By Robert J. Rome, Ph.D.
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e just concluded a season where we focused on praying for life. I have one more group for which I would like to pray for life, the lives of those children with challenges at birth. I have worked the past 26 years as a psychologist in the field of Child Development. This work has included working with families who have seen their prayers for the ability to have children fulfilled as well as with families with children who are born with or who develop developmental problems or concerns. I have seen parents who do everything they can and pay whatever is necessary to save a child born prematurely at 22 weeks. When I first started working in this field several decades ago, the lowest viable age for a fetus to survive a premature birth was seen as 26 weeks into the pregnancy. Now, a few decades later, after the hard work of courageous doctors and parents, and after medical breakthroughs in procedures and care, children frequently survive when born at 21 weeks gestation. I have heard of a child actually surviving and later becoming a fully average child, after birth at only 19 weeks gestation. Miraculous things happen! As I have worked with either parents (prospective or current) or with children directly, I have witnessed one great common reality and realization: All life is precious and special. Because of the appreciation of a young child’s life and the decision to fight for life, premature children often go on to lead fully capable lives. Mothers who were seen as incapable of carrying pregnancies to term now are blessed with children. When you visit a school and observe the children studying and playing, you most often cannot tell the difference between those children who had been premature and those whose mothers carried them to term. However, sometimes, you do observe 7 October 8,2010
differences among children. Some children are born with or later develop conditions which cause them to have delays in their development and other similar concerns. Premature children may have vision or hearing deficits. They may have motor deficits. Some children, even those born at full term, have genetic concerns which lead to disorders, syndromes, and other conditions. Sometimes, the problems are not seen at birth or in the very early years. Certain problems later develop. Even when a child is born healthy, problems may occur later.
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Physicians have developed techniques to detect potential problems in the early stages of pregnancy. The thought is that when caught early, a pregnancy which may produce a child with a “defect” can be terminated through an abortion (this is not a thought that I generally agree with). Amniocentesis is one of the procedures used to look for possible genetic conditions which may impact the development of the fetus into a child. The “amnio” studies the genetic structure and chromosomes of the developing fetus to look for certain genetic abnormalities. One of the conditions specifically checked is Down Syndrome. The fetus is checked for the genetic structure which is at the basis of this condition and others. Some doctors see aborting the fetus as the likely outcome when Down Syndrome is discovered. The child will never be born. Others suggest that even when parents choose to have a child with Down Syndrome after an amnio that they can be better prepared knowing this in advance.
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Within the Jewish community, there is another step which is suggested (even, I am told, required by some rabbis before the rabbis will perform a wedding) and that is genetic screening of the bride and groom prior to the wedding. Many disorders require both the bride and the groom to each have the gene or trait which will lead to a condition or disorder. Prospective brides and grooms are separately tested. When both partners have a suspected gene and would likely produce a child with a potentially horrendous condition, the couple is then seen as incompatible and the relationship is to be broken. There is too great a likelihood of an offspring being born to that couple which may have a major disorder or condition. Many times, those who choose to begin serious dating will be tested even before finding a “beshert..” So as not to fall in love with a partner with whom they share a negative gene or trait, the test results of the couple may be compared even prior to the engagement or even before dating begins. There is one major problem, however. What determines whether a disease, disorder, or syndrome is placed on the diagnostic list to be checked? What if there are medical breakthroughs which change the very character of the disease or condition, permitting those afflicted with the condition to lead increasingly normal lives? A case in point is the condition of Cystic Fibrosis, a condition which in previous generations led to a life expectancy of less than 10 years as growths literally took over the lungs. Even while a young child lived, spe-
cial treatment and breathing machines were needed. The 10 years of life were often described as a “living hell.” This was and remains a horrendous condition. As such, the gene which is associated with Cystic Fibrosis is on the list of predispositions to check in the bride and groom. If both bride and groom have the trait, it is considered best that they don’t even marry. However, there have been changes in recent years in the course of Cystic Fibrosis. Many who have this condition will now live well into their 30’s. The life led by those with the disorder is improving with new treatments. While this is not a disease that anyone would want, individuals with Cystic Fibrosis may lead very meaningful lives. Recently, two sisters, both with Cystic Fibrosis, were finalists on the America’s Got Talent TV show. These beautiful teenage girls sing with most angelic voices. They were selected as finalists not because of their medical condition, but because in the entire competition, they were among the most talented. The smiles on the faces of these girls as they sang lit up the audiences both in the performance theater and at home. Would it have been better if these girls had been aborted during the pregnancies of the mother? Would it have even been better if the parents had never gotten married because each parent had the trait for Cystic Fibrosis? My answer: These girls make a difference. Their lives are meaningful. They touch others. The world would be a poorer place without them. What a loss it would have been to the world if they had never been born because their parents had been
forbidden to marry. I don’t lessen the difficulties associated with raising a child with Down Syndrome. However, I have had the privilege to work with both children and adults with Down Syndrome. The zest for life and the joy of living were basic to many of those diagnosed with this syndrome. So many with Down Syndrome have good friendships. Many work in the community. The world is indeed a better place because these children and adults were brought into the world. I just don’t get it. How did we ever get to this point where we would prevent or terminate the births of individuals who may contribute so much? If doctors had known that Ray Charles would become blind, would they have advised the mother to abort? What a loss that would have been! We need to remember that individuals who make uniquely special contributions often come in all kinds of sizes, shapes, and conditions. We must remember that the foremost physicist in the world who has contributed so much to our knowledge about the world is actually confined to a wheelchair needing basic support for so many life functions. Would the world have been better if Stephen Hawking had not been born? Of course not. Doctors sometimes do not look beyond genetic structure. Children born with abnormal genes are seen as abnormal. Abnormal unfortunately is seen as synonymous with “not worthy of living.” We need to change these attitudes and fight for the lives of these often uniquely special children. •
Robert J. Rome, Ph.D., is a licensed Psychologist in clinical practice in Encino, California. He can be reached at RJRome@aol.com
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Every letter of the Torah is precise, rich with meaning and containing myriads of deep lessons. We must therefore understand why the Torah describes the incident of Noah’s intoxication with what seems to be superfluous language.
in another individual, it’s like looking into a mirror; it’s really one’s own faults and inequities that are being noticed. When we perceive shortcomings and deficiencies in the people around us, we see the things that we ought to be repairing within ourselves.
Soon after he emerged from the ark, Noah planted a vineyard and made wine. “And he drank of the wine and became drunk, and he uncovered himself within his tent. And Ham,
G-d doesn’t show us our own negativity directly because we wouldn’t notice it that way – we aren’t capable of objectively recognizing our own faults. Our love for ourselves is too strong – love covers all transgressions and we are blinded. So, when we see negativity in others, we can be more objective about it and can wonder why G-d showed it to us, and realize that we must learn from it and improve ourselves.
The Mirror Effect the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness, and he told his two brothers outside. And Shem and Japheth took the garment, and they placed [it] on both of their shoulders, and they walked backwards, and they covered their father's nakedness, and their faces were turned backwards, so that they did not see their father's nakedness.” (Genesis 9: 21-23) After the Torah tells us that the sons of Noah walked backwards into his tent, why does the Torah repeat itself and state again that after they covered him “their faces were turned backwards, so that they did not see their father's nakedness?” It is quite clear that they didn’t see anything, because the Torah already said that they weren’t looking! This repetitive language must be coming to teach us something unique and profound. A great teaching of the Holy Baal Shem Tov is quoted in the first Chassidic book ever printed, the Toldos Yaakov Yosef, by Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polnoye: When one notices a fault or flaw
This is a very powerful idea that seems impossible or unrealistic. Do we have to be naive and believe that everyone else in the world is perfect, and we are the only sinners? We know that everyone has some deficiencies; there isn’t anyone that hasn’t sinned in some way. This is especially true when it comes to ordinary people, those that are not tzaddikim. Delving deeper into the Baal Shem Tov’s teachings, we find that he also teaches that everything a person sees or hears is meant to be taken as a lesson in the service of G-d. This includes everything we perceive with our senses, even trivial things. Every incident that one sees, or even hears about, is G-d speaking to us, making us aware of something, so that somehow, we can better ourselves and fulfill our mission in this world.
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The idea that nothing happens in vain stems from a third teaching of the Baal Shem Tov – regarding the degree of Hashgacha Pratis/Divine Providence that exists within the world. Even before the Baal Shem Tov, the sages taught that nothing is coincidental; everything everywhere is orchestrated by G-d at every moment. The Baal Shem Tov described this Divine Providence in detail. He explained that it involves even the tiniest aspects of creation, including those that don’t involve humanity. When the wind blows, the Baal Shem Tov explains, and a leaf is turning over on a tree, G-d dictates the exact number of times it will turn over before it’s blown off and where exactly it falls on the ground. These details are meticulously planned and calculated by G-d for every leaf, during every wind. This type of Divine orchestration and direction applies to everything within every moment of creation. So, if G-d plans things so that we should be in a particular place, at a particular time, and notice a specific thing, it is because it’s important for us to pay attention to it, learn from it, and incorporate the G-dliness within it. It follows that if we notice a flaw in another human being, it must be that G-d wants us to notice it. Furthermore, G-d is specifically pointing it out to us. Of course, G-d is all powerful and for Him, there is no such thing as a coincidence or an uncontrollable circumstance. If a person walks on Fifth Avenue in New York, sharing the street with thousands
of other people, G-d’s Divine Providence dictates that not only does this person need to be there at that exact moment, but all of the other people also need to be there, and moreover, that all of them need be there together just that way, at that very moment! This is clear from the fact that we notice only a minute portion of the multitudes of things that happen around us. Why do certain things stand out, when other things don’t even seem to exist? It’s because G-d decrees that each person sees only those specific things that G-d wants that person to see. For example, if a man walks in the street with his wife and she notices something that he doesn’t, and later she tells her husband about it, it’s because she needed to see it and he needed to hear about it. According to this reasoning, it’s clear that when we see negativity in another, it’s because G-d wants us to see it, and He wants us to enrich our service of Him through that experience. However, why does it mean that the other person’s negativity reflects our own? Perhaps G-d is showing us the negativity in order that we should help or even rebuke our fellow? The Torah states clearly that it is a mitzvah to educate and rebuke another person (in the proper fashion, and if it will have a positive effect.) Conceivably, G-d is showing us the negativity to enable us to help the other person. How can the Baal Shem Tov say, without question, that when we see the negativity it is because we definitely have the
same within ourselves, and we need to fix it?
also uses plain language. This occurs in many other places as well.
The Talmud (Pesachim 3A) discusses Torah’s use of refined language and concludes that, whenever possible, the Torah uses the most refined language possible, avoiding negativity, unless absolutely necessary.
The Talmud concludes that even in cases where the Torah is teaching us a law, but first describes the circumstances the led up to the law, the story of the circumstances are also delivered in the most refined manner. It is only when the Torah pronounces a verdict that it uses explicit language. The sages explain that we must therefore also strive to refine our speech, and speak as graciously as possible.
For example, in this week’s portion, when G-d instructed Noah regarding the animals for the ark, the Torah says (Genesis 7:2) “Of all the clean animals you shall take for yourself seven pairs, a male and its mate, and of the animals that are not clean, two, a male and its mate.” Why write “the animals that are not clean” instead of simply “unclean animals” or “impure animals?” The sages in the Talmud explain that it is not necessary to use coarse or negative language when refined wording can deliver the same message. The Torah does, however, use the clearest and most direct language when it pronouncing a verdict or law. When it comes to knowing how to behave, or what status an object may hold, the Torah makes it as clear as possible. If something or someone we interact with may be impure, defiled or forbidden, we must know exactly what we are dealing with, and in these circumstances, the Torah does not refine the language. For example, in the portion of Shemini, where the Torah discusses which animals are kosher and which are non-kosher, it says so explicitly. Similarly, in the portions of Tazriah and Metzora, in regards to impurities that a person might contract, the Torah
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When the Torah recounts the incident of Noah and the wine, it is teaching us that not only should our speech be pure, but our vision and our perspective must also remain refined. When we see something negative in another person, there are two ways to perceive it. The first perspective is a call to action, one of “that person has a problem, and it needs to be fixed.” The other is a judgment similar to “that person is lowly and disgusting.” A common example of these perspectives can be observed when people sit in a room, perhaps at a party or a lecture, and a toddler with a soiled diaper runs around in the background. Generally, there are two reactions. Most people in the room will think or say “Why is this smelly child running around, stinking up the room?” On the other hand, when the mother notices her baby, she doesn’t sense that the child is smelly or dirty. To her, the smell is simply an alarm, a call to action – “a diaper needs to be
changed.” Once the diaper is changed and thrown away, she doesn’t even remember the smell. She didn’t and never will think that she has a “smelly child.” She saw a problem and she fixed it, forgot about it and went on with her life. The Baal Shem Tov is teaching us that when G-d shows us something askew with another person, and we approach it as a call to action, and an opportunity to fix a problem to the best of our abilities, then we have accomplished what was necessary. If, however, beyond the opportunity to help another person, there is a judgment or a lingering of negativity, then what we are seeing is our own inadequacy, one which the other person has indicated exists within ourselves. This is the mirror in which we are seeing our own faults. This lesson is demonstrated by the sons of Noah. When Shem
and Japeth heard about the state their father was in, they immediately recognized that there was a problem that they needed to address. “…they walked backwards, and they covered …and their faces were turned backwards, so that they did not see their father's nakedness.” Even after they covered Noah, they still did not ‘see’ any negativity within their father, only the problem that needed attention. Ham, on the other hand, was the first of the brothers to see Noah in his shameful state, and he had a different reaction. “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness…“ He didn’t see a problem that needed a solution, he saw negativity, and ran to tell his brothers about it. Within Ham lingered a corrupt passion, so he identified the negativity within Noah and focused on it. His brothers were completely devoid of any traces of it, and didn’t see it at all.
In our daily lives, we can apply these powerful lessons when we relate with or rebuke others. We shouldn’t feel justified in walking around pointing out the faults of those around us. We should only see our own faults, and know that if we see imperfections in other people, it’s only our own problems that we are seeing in the mirror. When we see a problem, and only a problem, we can fix it to the benefit of the other person. The moment it goes beyond that, it’s our own fault that needs correction. If we can recognize and remember this when we interact with others, we will have healthier and happier friendships, marriages and relationships with all of the people around us. When the Jewish people live together in peace and harmony we bring closer the final redemption. May it come very quickly!
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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oach lived through trying times to say the least. He survived not only a generation of spiritual chaos, but physical annihilation as well. However, Hashem walked with him and guided him. He instructed him every step of the way. He warned him of the impending flood. He instructed him to build an ark. He told him to bring all the animals to the ark. Yet Noach is labeled as a man who was lacking in faith. The Torah tells us that, "Noach with his wife and sons and his son's wives with him, went into the ark because of the waters of the Flood" (Genesis 7:6). Rashi quotes a Midrash which proclaims that Noach, to a small degree, lacked faith as he only entered the ark "because of the waters of the Flood." The implication is that Noach did not enter the ark until the rain forced him to. The obvious question is how can we say that Noach lacked, even to a tiny extent, faith? He had to believe! After all, he spoke to Hashem! He built the ark! He gathered all the animals! He was the only one in his generation to worry about the impending doom! Surely, he must have believed! Why is there a complaint against Noach? What is wrong in waiting until he had no choice but to enter? To what degree is he considered lacking in faith? Rabbi Shimshon Sherer, Rav of Congregation Kehilas Zichron Mordechai, tells the following story. In a small town there was a severe drought. The community synagogues each prayed separately for rain, but to no avail. The tears and prayers failed to unlock the sealed heavens, and for months, no rains came. Finally, the town's eldest sage held a meeting with prominent community rabbis and lay leaders. "There are two items lacking in our approach, faith and unity. Each one of you must impress upon his congregation the need to believe. If we are united and sincere, our prayers will be answered!" He declared that all the synagogues in the city would join together for a day of tefilah. Everyone, men women and children would join together for this event. "I assure you," he exclaimed, "that if we meet both criteria - faith and unity - no one will leave that prayer service without getting drenched!" There was no shul large enough to contain the entire community so the date was set to gather and daven in a field! For the next few weeks all the rabbis spoke about bitachon and achdus (faith and unity). On the designated day the entire town gathered in a large field whose crops had long withered from the severe drought. Men, women, and children all gathered and anxiously awaited the old sage to begin the service. The elderly rabbi walked up to the podium. His eyes scanned the tremendous crowd that filled the large field and then they dimmed in dismay. The rabbi began shaking his head in dissatisfaction. "This will never work," he moaned dejectedly. "The rain will not come." Slowly he left the podium. The other rabbis on the dais were shocked. "But rebbe everyone is here and they are all united! Surely they must believe that the rains will fall! Otherwise no one would have bothered to come on a working day!" The rabbi shook his head slowly and sadly. "No. They don't really believe," he stated. "I scanned the entire crowd. Nobody even brought a raincoat." The level of faith that the Torah demanded from Noach would have had him bolt into the ark on the very morning that the Flood was meant to come. He had no inkling of the ferocity that was impending at the storm's first moments. Though it began as a light rainstorm his waiting until being forced by the torrents is equivalent to one who hears predictions of a tornado and stands outside waiting for the funnel to knock at his door. Noach should have moved himself and his family in the ark at zero hour without waiting for the rains to force him in. The instinctive faith should have kicked in turning the bright sunny day that he may have experienced into one that is filled with fatal flood water. But he waited to see if it would really come. And for that he is chided. How often do we cancel plans or change a course of action on the say-so of the weatherman, but plan our activities so in contrast with the predictions of the Torah? Even Noach, who built the ark under intense pressure, is held accountable for the lack of instinctive faith that should have been interred in his bones. And on that level of faith, unfortunately, all of us are a little wet behind the ears. â€˘ Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky
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more. It’s one of those days I’m sure none of us will ever forget. I’m certain many can recall with vivid detail where they were and what they did that morning and to whom they spoke as the horror unfolded. I remember talking with a friend in Boston trying to sort out the magnitude of the event when my hand gravitated almost instinctively to a Chumash and I found myself opening to a verse in this week’s Torah portion. It was something I had seen years earlier in a Sefer in Jerusalem. Since then I had purchased my own set of this commentary. I could not have grasped the full implication of those words until this terrifying moment. Writes the Zohar Niglah on the words of Avraham, “If only Ishmael would live before you” (Breishis 17:18): Rebbi Chia groaned and cried. He opened up and said: “And Sara was barren and she had no child bearing capacity” (Breishis 11:30). Woe about this and woe about that time that allowed Hagar to give birth to Ishmael. Rabbi Yossi interjected, “Why cry? Sara did give birth afterwards and there was to her a holy branch!” Rebbi Chia answered him, “You see and I see and so I heard from the mouth of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai on this subject and it’s about this I wail. Woe to that time period that because Sara was prevented from having children she said to Avram, “Come to my handmaid”. And because of that an opportunity manifested for Hagar to disinherit Sara her mistress, and there was to her a son from Avraham and Avraham said, “If only Ishmael would live before you!” And even though The Holy One Blessed Be He had announced to him about Yitzchak, Avraham clung to Ishmael until The Holy One Blessed Be He answered, “And regarding Ishmael, I have heard you!” And afterwards he circumcised him before Yitzchak ever came into the world.”
Come and see that for four hundred years the Arch-Angel of Ishmael, pleaded before the Holy One, Blessed Be He. He said, “Someone who is circumcised, does he not have a portion in Your name?” He said to him, “Yes!” So he said, “Ishmael is circumcised. Why does he not have a portion in You like Yitzchak?” He answered him, “Yitzchak is circumcised in a fitting and proper way and this one is not. And not only that but these ones cleave to me appropriately from eight days while those remain distant for a long period of time (13 years).” He said again to Him, “Even still since these ones are circumscribed should there not be some good reward for them?” Woe about this time that Ishmael was born and circumcised. “What did the Holy One Blessed Be He do? He pushed Ishmael from a higher attachment and He gave him a portion of holiness in the lower world (the land of Israel) because of his circumcision. In the future, the children of Ishmael will rule over the Holy Land all the time that it is empty and desolate because their circumcision is empty and without perfection. And they will prevent the Children of Israel from returning to their place, up until the time when the merit of the Children of Ishmael expires. And in the future the Children of Ishmael will awaken powerful wars in the world, and the Children of Edom (Western Civilization) will make a coalition against them and will arouse a war against them…” The Zohar continues. It’s not all pretty but we know how everything ends. Now, go and write an accurate book telling about events sixteen hundred years from now. Try for fifty years. Tell us what countries or families will dominate. Who will be relevant? All the depth analysis in the knowable world could not yield a modestly reliable report. Who could possibly have known these things?! The day those planes struck it was as if the words of the Zohar walked off the page and I too was struck. •
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky October 8,2010
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Photo L-R: Rabbis and Senior Chaplains Israel Hirsch, Shimon Raichik, Rachmiel Steinberg & Howard Winkler standing at the inner entrance of Men's Central Jail of Los Angeles County during Chol Hamoed, Succos.
Orthodox Jewish Chaplaincy Board (OJCB) Chaplains brought Esrogim & Lulovim to Jewish Inmates at Los Angeles County Jails during Chol Hamoed Succos. Many of the nearly one hundred Inmates who consider themselves Jewish are visited by the OJCB Chaplains throughout the year to give them chizuk and assist them with their religious and spiritual needs under difficult circumstances. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is consistently honored by the OJCB for his steadfast support of the OJCB Chaplains and Inmate Programs.
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Livescan is an inkless fingerprinting process where fingerprints are electronically transmitted to the Department of Justice for background screening. Ink fingerprinting is still required in many states. However, as a result of legislation passed in 1997, the California Department of Justice (CA-DOJ) has developed the automated background check process, which requires Livescan fingerprints for criminal history background checks that may be required as a condition of employment. Livescan technology replaces the ink process of recording fingerprint images. The CA-DOJ may also forward Livescan fingerprints to the FBI if required.
Who Needs Livescan? Livescan may be required as a condition of employment for: Teachers, Care Givers, Contractors, Security Guards, Nurses, Doctors, Surgeons, Real Estate Licensees, Appraisers, Notaries, DMV Licensed Professionals, Foster Parents, Stock Brokers, Volunteers, and anyone applying for a professional licensing, certification, or permit. Persons applying for foreign adoptions or VISA/Immigration clearances may also need Livescan processing.
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ING FE E
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Did You Ask To Be Born?
nce upon a time there was a village full of disgruntled people. All day long they walked around with these sour faces, each bemoaning his troubles, each jealous of her neighbor's successes. One day, a wise old man arrived in the village. He assembled them all in the village square and said to them: "I want you each to go and bring your most precious possession, the thing you cherish most in your life, and place it here in middle of the square." Soon there was a large pile of bundles and packages, of all shapes and sizes, in the center of the village square. "Now," instructed the wise man, "you may each select for yourselves any one of these gifts. The choice is yours--take any package you desire."
Every man, woman and child in the village did exactly the same thing. Each chose his own bundle. The Torah, as we all know, begins at the beginning, describing G-d's creation of the heavens and the earth, the continents and the oceans, vegetation and animal life. Then, in its 26th verse, we proceed to the creation of man. "And G-d said," we read, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." Let us? Up to this point--and from here on through the rest of the Torah--G-d is spoken of as the ultimate singularity. He is the Boss, the exclusive source and mover of all. But in this single instance, there is an "us," a choir of opinions, a supernal boardroom before which the Creator places a proposal and asks for approval. â€˘ 323-965-1544 â€˘
With whom did G-d consult when He desired to create the human being? Our sages offer a number of explanations. One is that G-d asked the angels, so as to temper their later criticisms of the failings of mortal man. Another explanation is that G-d was involving all elements of the universe, or all aspects of His infinitely potentialed being, in the formation of the multi-faceted soul of man. All these explanations, of course, raise at least as many questions as they answer. Indeed, it is regarding this particular verse that the sages have stated: "The Torah says it thus; anyone who wishes to misunderstand, let him misunderstand..." Obviously, there is an important message here to us--important enough that the Torah insists on this particular phraseology despite the fact that it allows for (firstname.lastname@example.org
courages?) misunderstanding. But there is one interpretation of this verse which presents us with a conundrum of a paradox. The Midrash offers the following explanation: "With whom did He consult? With the souls of the righteous." G-d is asking a council of human souls if He should create the human soul! The plot thickens. Who are these "righteous" (tzaddikim) with whom G-d consulted? According to the prophet Isaiah, "Your people are all tzaddikim." We each posses the soul of a tzaddik (regardless of the extent to which we allow its expression). In other words, G-d asked each and every one of us if we desire to be created, if we choose to accept the challenge of earthly life. Only then did He proceed to create us. If asking a soul whether it wants to
be created sounds like a catch-22, this paradox in fact resolves a much deeper paradox--the paradox of Divine decree and human choice. G-d is forever telling us what to do. Indeed, the very word Torah means "instruction," and that's basically what the Torah is: a series of instructions from on high. And yet we are told that "a fundamental principle of the Torah" is that "freedom of choice has been granted to man." What exactly are our choices, if G-d is constantly instructing us? The question runs deeper. Let us assume that, in any given situation, under any set of circumstances, the choice is ours as to how we should act. But what kind of choice is this, if no one asked us if we want to be in that situation and under those set of circumstances in the first place? What kind of "choice" is there, if we
didn't choose whether or not we should be presented with that choice? So the Torah reveals to us this amazing secret: that ultimate choice was made by us, before we even existed. Before G-d emanated your soul and breathed it into your body, you were asked if you should be. So in every situation in which you find yourself, in every challenge you face in your life--you are there because you chose to be placed in that life. We go through life complaining, "I didn't ask to be born...!" But a thousand times a day we refute that claim. With countless choices and actions, we affirm that the life we have is the life we want. Of course we do. After all, we chose it. • By Yanki Tauber
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Calfornia Kosher Kitchen Split Pea Soup
Directions •1 cup chopped yellow onions • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1/8 cup good olive oil • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 cups medium-diced carrots • 1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled • 1 lb dried split green peas • 8 cups chicken stock or water
Directions In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 1/2 pound of split peas, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.
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• 323-965-1544 •
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Next Advertising Deadline
October 15, 2010 Circulation
October 22, 2010 Please call
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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
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
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
Fish Grill Kehila 7226 Beverly Blvd. LA, 90036 (323) 937-7162 12013 Wilshire Blvd. LA, 90025 (310) 479-1800 9618 W. Pico Blvd. 90035 (310) 860-1182 22935 Pacific Coast Highway (310) 456-8585
Unique Cafe Rabbi Aron Simkin 18381 Ventura Blvd. Tarzana (818) 757-3100
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
Jerusalem Pizza Kehila 17942 Ventura Blvd. Encino, CA 91316
(818) 758-9595 La Brea Bagel Kehilla 7308 Beverly Blvd. LA, 90036 (323) 965-1287 La Pizza Rabbi Furst 12515 Burbank Blvd. N.H, 91607 (818) 760-8198
PAREVE HUMMUS KING Kehilla 12422 BURBANK BLVD. VALLEY VILLAGE 91607 818.509.7999 Fish In The Village RCC 12450 Burbank Blvd. N.H, 91607 (818) 769-0085 Le Sushi RCC 12524 Burbank Blvd N.H. 91607 (818) 763-6600 SushiKo RCC 9340 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 274-3474
Milk N Honey RCC 8837 West Pico Blvd LA, 90035 (310) 858-8850
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A UNIQUE PARENTING COURSE given by MRS. DINA FRIEDMAN Listen at your convenience via teleconference, telephone, or online.
Call now to hear a preview of our 35 session course, and for program details.
718.819.3020 PROGRAM BEGINS NOV. 7 Register before October 26
To register, call: Sori Henny
845.418.4008 732.901.6884 RachelAdlerDesign.com
Treat yourself to an amazing experience that will transform your life forever! This course will take you on an inspirational journey of growth and self improvement. Discover the pleasure of parenting with conďŹ dence, as you learn new skills and techniques that really work. Come join the thousands of mothers who are now effectively raising their children with both love and limits.
O c t o b e r 8 , 2010
• 323-965-1544 •
1. two bars are missing from the gate. 2. the red backpack is now green. 3. A window ladder is missing. 4. The Shir Hamalos is missing from the stroller. 5. The chicken has 4 fingers. 6. Extra tree in the background. 7. The striped white and blue shirt is now red and blue. 8. Extra porch. 9. The girl is facing the other way. 10. The ambulance has one window instead of two.
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* Correction: Last issue’s Double Take was from The Chabad of SOLA Annual Baseball Tournament. Info@communitylinks.info
Double Take YOUR pictures! Please email us your event pictures to
KAPAROS Can you spot the differences in these two pictures?