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January 28-February 11, 2011

Vol. 8 Issue 173

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Features January 28, 2011 Next Advertising Deadline February 4, 2011 Circulation February 11, 2011



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Positioning Impositions

Rejecting Historical “FACT”

We can often establish that something happened, but we most often remain ignorant of the hows and whys.

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


Terumah Small Contribution

When it comes to a person’s name, the Kabbalists tell us, it’s not just the parent’s choice - the name is divinely inspired.


And now enter the convert John Doe who hails from a corporate office in West Virginia and has made a conscious, comfortable decision to join the ranks of Moses' men. Parsha Mishpatim Rabbi Mordechai Kaminetzky

Coming to Israel


I could not help but think of the irony -- the bizarre coincidence -- of just coming off the plane from Jerusalem and virtually landing in East Hampton. Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Rabbi Reuven Wolf

community links • Volume 6 Issue 173 4

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he new Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem is a captivating place. In a large cement structure designed by Moshe Safdie, the same architect who designed the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, there is a main exhibit building where there are meandering exhibit rooms and displays down a lengthy corridor to each side. The entirety of the Holocaust experience is presented as you walk down the corridor and view the exhibit rooms, from the rise of Hitler and Nazism through the liberation of the camps by the Allied forces. The Holocaust experience is told by pictures, videos, and objects from the period, along with video testimonies of survivors and witnesses.

formation (to me) was presented as well. To the best of my knowledge, the exhibits represent the best of current historical knowledge about the events in Europe from the 1920’s through the 1940’s.

What a phenomenal building and presentation of history!

It is not as if I had not heard this “explanation” before. This was a central tenet in my high school world history text. Angered by having been drawn into a war by the Germans, the victorious Allied powers “sought to punish” the Germans following the war, especially economically. So said my history text.

All was so informative. I have read a dozen or more books on the Holocaust and watched as many or more movies on the subject, yet many gaps in my knowledge had remained. Yad Vashem filled in many of these Gaps, while much new in-


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But there was one issue raised in one of the displays that while presented as historical fact, cannot be accepted by me as fact at all. In the displays regarding the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party, there was a sign in the exhibit room which described how the treatment of the Germans after World War I by the Allied forces led to the subsequent political and economic turmoil in Germany, leading to the eventual rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party. What?!!

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So implies the sign at Yad Vashem. With a faltering economy and increasing political chaos, the explanation goes, the German people turned to Hitler and the Nazis. This explanation has been repeated so many times that people have come to accept it as “fact.” I understand why Twentieth Century intellectuals in the West wanted some explanation for the rise of Nazism. After all, this all happened in Germany, the very seat of Western intelligentsia, art, music, and culture. It was plainly irrational that Hitler would come to power in Germany of all places. This was no “backward country”, but the very locus of the science of learning. So, an explanation that would somehow provide a rationale for the irrational was welcomed. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that a country might respond in this manner if it were mistreated by the victorious countries after the war? So a theory was launched that the Germans turning to Hitler had a context. But this was not presented as “theory,” it was immediately

seen and accepted as “fact.” This explanation, however, provides an excuse for the decisions and actions of the German population. According to this explanation offered, we can’t blame them for choosing Hitler as they were victimized by the Allied countries in their treatment after World War I. At least this seems to be the reasoning involved. This helped to explain how a nation which has prided itself in being at the forefront of philosophy, academics, and the arts could have become absorbed in the culture of Nazism. The explanation provides a possible way of understanding how this happened. But other countries have been victimized by conquering nations yet have not become Nazis or turned to genocide. It has been said that after various wars, the conquering Japanese people have administered abuses to the Korean people, yet there are no instances that I know of the abused Koreans turning to genocidal behaviors like the Germans did between the World Wars and during World War II. The Armenians lost their country and lands after wars, but still did not become Nazis. Nothing happened to the Germans following World War I which forced them to accept Hitler. There is no factual basis for the explanation which has been published in our history texts and which graces the exhibit at Yad Vashem. It is wishful thinking to offer some rationality for the German people’s irrational thinking and


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actions. We desperately want an explanation. But when we seek to gloss over or excuse the behavior of the German people, we remove the moral responsibility for what happened.

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There is simply no rationale, no explanation for the Holocaust. There is no justification for Dr. Mengele’s experiments or Eichmann’s Final Solution for the Jews. The horrendous actions by German individuals cannot be explained or rationalized. Anti-Semitism is not rational. Crematoria were not rational. Hatred at this level is not excusable or understandable. We may want it to have been true that there was an acceptable reason for the actions of German leaders and citizens alike. But there is no such truth. There is no reasonable explanation. There must be responsibility placed on the German people who voted for, marched with, and carried out the Nazi agenda. There are other “facts” offered as explanations for certain events during the Holocaust period. It is accepted by many as fact that the Allied forces did not bomb the railroad tracks to Auschwitz so as not to take away from the war efforts where the planes and bombs could not be spared from the war effort. But there is absolutely no proof for this. Surely, bombs could have been spared for this purpose had this been seen as a priority. It appears to have been a conscious decision of American leadership to not interfere with the Germans’ ac-

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tions against the Jews and others. But we find it hard to accept that the American President and others knew about the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews and did nothing. And so, we establish rationale or excuses as to why the railroad tracks were not bombed. (It is of interest that Yad Vashem leaves open the question regarding why this bombing did not take place.) Similarly, many have accepted as fact that Pope Pius lobbied behind the scenes for the Church with the Germans and worked to “do what he could” to impact the Holocaust and the senseless slaughter of Jews. However, when the prelate of the Bulgarian Church intervened on behalf of Jews in his country, no Bulgarian Jews inside the country were killed. They were saved from the Holocaust. Not only did Pope Pius not seem to impact Germany through his actions, he did not even stop the Germans from taking the Jews in Italy away to the concentration camps and their deaths. We can’t accept that the Church seemed to do nothing to save the Jews. So, we offer explanations as to what may have happened. Impor-

tantly, Yad Vashem asks these important questions about Pope Pius without offering any explanation for the actions of this pope or of the Vatican during the War. History is a strange subject. We cannot say with certainty what may have happened in a previous period. We rely on the first hand testimony of witnesses to the events. When that may be unavailable, we settle for second hand testimony, such as newspaper accounts reporting on the events and quoting first hand sources and witness testimony from the time. Historical fact is established by such first hand or second hand testimony. Historians are often good at establishing the facts, but often poor at explanations or commentary to explain how or why the facts or events occurred. We can often establish that something happened, but we most often remain ignorant of the hows and whys. We can’t explain why the German people backed the establishment of the Nazi Third Reich. How did an entire nation become so evil? How did Nazi doctors sworn to do no harm against patients decide to do terrible experiments against

twins and the new born? How did a nation at war, like Germany, decide to use rare resources to kill Jews rather than to aid in their war efforts where the same resources could have helped their war campaigns? We have to accept that we will never know why. And offering feeble attempts at explanation are futile. The explanations we may propose may seem sensible, but we must never accept our attempts at explanation as fact. The German people were not forced by history or by conquering nations to accept Hitler. It was not economic or political chaos that led to Nazism, although that might have been the backdrop or context. We must never remove the basis for moral responsibility from the German people’s decisions and actions. They were not “forced by history” or historical events or trends to become Nazis. They did not decide to become Nazis because the English or French may have mistreated their nation after World War I. Yad Vashem was a most moving experience, even if one sign was misstated as fact not theory. •

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

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Terumah has two meanings. Rashi defines it as a separation or a portion, and the Zohar says it’s connected to L’Harim, to raise or lift something up. Mystically, the name of something conveys its true essence and purpose. When it comes to a person’s name, the Kabbalists tell us, it’s not just the parent’s choice - the name is divinely inspired. This is true of not just people, but places and objects as well, every name is important and connected to a purpose, all the more so regarding the names within the Torah, and the names of the Torah portions. Why is this parsha called Terumah?


The Small Contribution One might argue that the names of the Torah portions don’t have any significance, as they aren’t handed down from Sinai, or mandated by Halacha. If that were the case, this portion would simply have been named by the one of its unique first words. This parsha could have been called VaYikchu. But, we know that everything happens by divine providence, all the more so regarding customs of the Jewish people, and the very names of the Torah portions! Truly everything is significant, and we must therefore understand the lesson to be drawn from the name Terumah. In Terumah, the Jewish people are asked to donate a portion of their wealth for the construction of the mishkan/tabernacle, and later, the building begins. Perhaps the parsha should have been called Mishkan or Mikdash? The fact is that for the next seventeen portions, about one-third of the entire Torah, almost everything relates to the Mishkan - first the collection, then its construction, laws,


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and finally, the inauguration. If Terumah kicks off this entire segment of the Torah, why is the title speaking only of people’s gifts? Furthermore, it’s not until eight verses after the collection is mentioned that the Torah describes what the collection was for. “And they shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst.” (Shemos 25:8) If the purpose of the collection was for the Mishkan, shouldn’t we know that right away? As the Ramban explains, during the actual construction of the Mishkan, the Aron HaKodesh was not built first. However, because the entire point of the Mishkan was to house the Aron, the Torah describes it right away. This logic implies here that since it’s mentioned first, the most important part of the entire project was the Terumah donation, more so than the Mishkan itself! As stated in the verse, the point of the Mishkan is to create a dwelling place for G-d. This is actually connected to the purpose of all of creation. When G-d fashioned the universe, He did it in stages that allowed it to feel like a separation. The Kabbalists explain that a disconnect started within humanity when Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge. Farther back, the universe was disjointed by the diminishment of the moon on the third day of creation. Even farther back, the physical and the spiritual were separated by the division of the upper waters and lower waters on the second day. Prior to that, the Kabbalists describe the concept of “shattering of the vessels” when G-d’s supremely powerful creative light was dispersed into billions of divine sparks. These were not mistakes; rather, they are part of G-d’s plan for the creation. We cannot understand the • 323-965-1544 •

motivations or logic, so-to-say, of G-d. But, the purpose of the creation from our perspective is to fulfill Hashem’s will that a disconnected world, one devoid of G-dly awareness, be reconnected and uplifted back to the divine. We don’t really understand how horrific and unacceptable it is to exist as creations disconnected from our source. We live as someone whose brain was transplanted without warning or permission. Yet, this is the condition of the world. The truth of everything in creation is only Hashem. He is the Reality of realities, and we are simply His expressions. Although it’s not our fault we don’t see it, because it’s the way we are created, it’s still an utter lie. The purpose of our lives is to work to reconnect with Him. Every creation must discover its true essence, that G-d is the only truth. As long as a person lives life to serve ones own ego, by pursuing personal desires and pleasures, and not recognizing Hashem, that’s living within a total distortion. There was once moment of truth, when the creation was completely in touch with true reality: On Har Sinai, when G-d Himself came onto the mountain and said “Anochi Hashem… /I am the L-rd, your G-d.” At that moment, all of creation was in touch with the intrinsic truth. G-d was declaring his absoluteness, and this revelation tore away all barriers and concealments. The entire universe was silenced. Billions of distorted egos and their desires were nullified; all creatures and even inanimate objects experienced the genuine truth. This, however, was only temporary. As soon as the shofar blasted, the Shechina was gone and the veils of the world returned and we reverted back into darkness. The distortion took

hold again. We couldn’t retain it, because it wasn’t coming from us. When a child struggles with math, a parent will help by explaining the concepts and showing the child how to work the problem step by step until the child understands. However, all of that hasn’t proven that the child knows the material. Until the child does several problems on his own, holding the pencil without the parent’s guidance, the material is not truly internalized. The distortions of our world, the klippos, are deeply embedded in the foundations of our psyche. Our very sense of self is wrong from the moment we are born, and we don’t have an ability to undo that. After Hashem revealed himself on Sinai, we learned and saw the truth, but as soon as it was over, the drug of the creation took affect once again. He showed us who we really are and what we can do, the true delight of existence, but now we’re on a long and difficult journey of self discovery. G-d commands us to figure it out on our own. To help us, we have the Torah and Mitzvos, which help uncover the world’s G-dly essence.


In Terumah, after receiving the Torah, Hashem is telling us that we now start our own (re)construction. We work ourselves and the world around us to make a home for Him, a place where He can fully manifest. The two different meanings of Terumah convey two major distinctions in our work to strip the world of self identity and reveal G-dly identity.


G-d’s own revelation of His truth instantly and thoroughly permeates everything. What he expects from us, our Terumah as it relates to portions or pieces, reflects that our success doesn’t happen all at once. Some areas in our lives are quite easy to manage, thank G-d, but in others, our ego is quite strong and pulls us away. Many have trouble recognizing G-d when it comes to money, some of us struggle with indulgence in food, and others struggle with learning Torah or prayer. However we are challenged, refining ourselves is a slow and painful process, done piece by piece. We struggle with change and fight with ourselves to concede or surrender to G-d’s will. The Terumah that Hashem wants is one minute of the day. One moment that I can set myself aside, throw away my passions and lusts and experience the truth, giving myself over to G-d. Tomorrow, next week, next year, I will work to add another minute, but right now, I give what I can, and that’s good enough.

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While Hashem’s revelation completely destroys all barriers, Terumah as it relates to lifting up, implies there is a limit to how high we can reach. The declaration of "Anochi Hashem…/I am the Lord, your God” instantly put everything in touch with the highest absolute reality. There was

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no ego with even the faintest whisper. On our own, we can’t achieve such a complete transformation. We can minimize and confine the ego, but to go completely beyond it and become thoroughly egoless is impossible. Ultimately, as a creation, there is a level we cannot transcend, we can only lift ourselves up to a certain point. When we do our part, eventually Hashem will come and reveal Himself in our Mishkan, and we will become completely united with him. We aren’t supposed to get discouraged by the limitations of our own efforts. If the parsha was called Mishkan, it would imply that the uniqueness of this parsha was in the mishkan, G-d’s dwelling within the world. But, this happened already in Yisro, on Mt. Sinai. That revelation originated from Him, so it wasn’t permanent and real to us. The lesson of Terumah is that man has been charged to do the best he can to elevate and purify himself and the world around him; to connect to Hashem despite the limitations which present themselves. After we have given what we can, He will do the rest. As we enter the month of Adar, we must realize that the greatest joy we have is that we have the zechus to be a host for G-d. Even if it’s just for a moment, we create the opportunity for Hashem to reside amongst us, and that’s enough for everlasting joy. We have the power to give tzedaka, put on tefillin, learn torah and say a bracha. In one instant, we can transcend ourselves and reveal the ultimate truth, quickly bring Moshiach, the final redemption and the permanent home for Hashem, the third Bais HaMikdash. • 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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ow would you feel? That is a question asked by a wide-ranging group of inquisitors ranging from kindergarten teachers chiding their immature charges, to philosophy professors lecturing to disciples about the worlds of the theoretical. Its validity sets the tone from issues that vary from the golden rule to admonitions at the supper table. And at first glance it seems that the Torah uses the maxim to mitigate a deficiency in our very own human nature. "Do not taunt or oppress a ger (newcomer) because you were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Exodus 22:20). According to most commentators, the verse refers to the ger -- a convert to Judaism. Others comment however, that it also applies to any newcomer, be it to a neighborhood, a synagogue, or a school. Rashi explains that the Torah forewarns the Jewish nation from being cocky toward anyone who

not! Our years of servitude should not influence the morality of taunting others! So why does the Torah consider our bad experience a factor? Dr. Norman Blumenthal has published extensively about the unique experience of Holocaust survivors' children. Without revealing actual details, he related a case history of a young man whose father had escaped from a Nazi concentration camp at the age of 16 years old. The fugitive did not hide in the forest or in a barn, rather he joined a group of gentile partisans. For the duration of the war, he lived with them, ate with them, and killed Nazis with them. Still, the courageous young man never gave up his convictions and feelings of Judaism. On that day his father, by then a very successful executive who was very active in the American Jewish community, turned to him and said. "Son, now the easy life is over. Just like me,

Positioning Impositions would join our people. "After all," Rashi expounds, "the stranger can easily remind us of our since-forgotten experience in Egypt, where we, too, were strangers." However, something bothers me. The Torah's set of values is pure and unmitigated by personal partiality. So let us ask. Does it truly matter that we were once strangers? Is not it inherently wrong to taunt a newcomer? Shouldn't the Torah just say, "Do not taunt a newcomer? It is morally wrong!" Why is there even a mention of our Egyptian experience? Had we gone directly from Jacob's home to a settled life in the land of Israel, would we then be allowed to taunt newcomers? Of course


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now you must learn what it takes to survive amongst the gentiles!" He sent the young teen to a university in the southern part of the United States where Jews were as rare as snow. Within months, the young man, mercilessly taunted in a foreign environment, suffered a nervous breakdown. It took years of therapy to undo the shambles. Perhaps we can understand the posuk in a new homiletic light. The sages declare that our experience in Egypt was very necessary, albeit uncomfortable, one to say the least. Under the duress of affliction we fortified our faith. Under the pressure of ridicule we cemented our resolve. Under the strain of duress we built

families and sustained our identity. And perhaps it was that experience that laid the ability to endure far-reaching suffering, tests of faith that were only surpassed by the tests of time.

der for the next person. Do not use your encounters as the standard for the entire world. One cannot view the world from the rear view mirror of his personal experience. •

And now enter the convert John Doe who hails from a corporate office in West Virginia and has made a conscious, comfortable decision to join the ranks of Moses' men. Our first reaction may just be to have him bear the test of the Jew. Like bootcamp in Fort Bragg, or beasting at West Point, we may have the urge even a compulsion to put Mr. Doe through the rigors of our oppression. After all, that is the stuff of which we are made. We may want to taunt and tease because "we were slaves in a foreign land." The Torah tells us not to do so. "Do not taunt or oppress a Ger (newcomer) because you were strangers in the land of Egypt." Do not impose your difficult experiences in life on others that are newcomers to your present situation. It is easy to say, "such men are made from sterner stuff" and proceed to harangue those who would join us. That should not be. Life has a personal trainer for every individual, and each soul has a particular program mapped out by the Almighty. Jews from birth may have had to suffer in Egypt, while converts have other issues to deal with. One's particular experience may not be fod-


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Monday, August 21, 6:00 AM, JFK Airport Disembarking El Al flight 031 from Tel Aviv to New York, a flight that saw darkness extend over the globe and left me reeling. When you fly west at night you see many sunsets, many nights descending, as you soar from light to dark (to be exact, 19 hours of night from Israel to NY, 12 hours of flying and 7 more time difference). I guess if I kept flying west, night would never end.

sity if not divisiveness of Jew and Jew. The war between Jew and Arab -- a 4000-year struggle between Isaac and Ishmael, children of Abraham. And now, with the latest escalation of violence in the region, all layers have been stripped away. The true state of affairs has emerged as we are unable to hide any longer behind illusions of prosperity and comfort zones. Vulnerability has a way of exposing the raw nerves and revealing the underlying truths that


Overwhelming is the only word I can use to describe my one week in East Jerusalem, on the eastern border of the Promised Land -- at the center of the universe. Millions of Jews pray toward the east, toward the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and here I was sitting Friday night on a rooftop overlooking the Mount. In this center/vortex lies concentrated in microcosm the entire universe: the battle between good and evil, the diver-

even at the center of the universe can sometimes be obscured. I stand at the Western Wall Friday night and see Jews of all backgrounds, groups that anywhere else in the world can only be found in separate synagogues: Sephardic and Ashkenazic, Chassidic and Litvish, Orthodox and secular, Carlebachniks and Breslovers, tourists and locals. Kipot (headcoverings) of every fabric and color.


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As we stare at the Temple Mount while eating Shabbat dinner, I think of another group who once stared at this very sight. Where was Rabbi Akiva standing when he looked at the barren Temple mount and laughed while his colleagues cried? Were they perhaps standing on this very spot? Rabbi Akiva laughed because within the loss he saw the hope. Within the desolation he felt the redemption. Yes, you need Rabbi Akiva's eyes, but once he saw it, it helps us all see. Perhaps only by closing our eyes can we see best.

Jews pray at the Wall -- a broken remnant of the walls surrounding the ™ ””“–”›“” Temple, just feet away from two IsRabbi Traditional Ritual Circumcision Sholom D. Langsam lamic edifices and many Christian ones. 718.753.3225 625 N Sycamore Avenue # 216 Yet, the words of my Los Angeles, CA 90036 masters resonate Certified by: loudly: "Nothing is as complete as a broThe Chief Rabbinate of Israel ken heart." The Jew-


ish people reflect the reality of life today: a remnant of a purer world. A perfect and complete edifice would not do justice to the world in which we live. We do not live in a perfect world, and recognizing that is half the cure -- half the journey to reaching perfection

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As I roamed the stoned corridors of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, I could not help but think: who walked here before me? Was it the High Priest on his way to the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur? Was it Abraham leading Isaac to the Akeidah? Was it King David preparing the ground for building the Holy Temple? How many footsteps have tread over this very ground where I walk, talk, eat falafel and sleep? As sacred as people could ever be in Jerusalem today, could they ever match and compete with the sheer power of timeless Divinity saturating this very earth and stones? The people of Israel are mere props on a stage set by G-d to be His center of the universe. In this place -- the Promised Holy Land -- everything that exists outside is played out in the most extreme ways, crystallized in its concentrated form, as a kernel that contains and shapes the macrocosm. Yet, the light of Eretz Yisrael is so powerful that it cannot be seen by us mortals. Unless... we close our eyes. And then I fly from east to west --

from light to dark. From a blinding light to a clear night, from a light I only barely feel to a darkness that I can see and convince myself is light. And then we land... Monday, August 21, 7:00 PM, East Hampton, NY East Hampton: the ultimate vacation escape, summer getaway of choice -- a charming paradise, attracting artists and writers as well as casual vacationers, with its pristine beaches and exciting nightlife. The home to many of America’s movers and shakers, engaged in the endless dance of social climbing and posturing. In this capital of the ence's -- affluence, opulence and indulgence, I am speaking on Kabbalah to a group of distinguished East Hamptonites in The Ross Institute of Well-Being, founded by Courtney Ross, wife of the late Steven J. Ross, CEO of Time Warner. In this Platonic environment, in an extraordinary complex of buildings, meticulously designed in exquisite, exotic colors and shapes, a yeshiva bochur, namely myself, is delivering a lecture on Jewish mysticism: how the ancient wisdom of the Kabbalah can bring meaning and divinity to our "ordinary" world. I could not help but think of the irony -- the bizarre coincidence -- of just coming off the plane from Jerusalem and virtually landing in East Hampton. Hours ago I was sitting in a cafe in the Old City, and now I'm touring the elaborate Zenlike kitchens of the Ross Institute, with their porcelain sinks and Oriental seating. Just last night, standing before the 2000 year old Wall -- where was East Hampton 2000 years ago, does anyone know what was happening here 20 centuries ago, even 4 centuries ago?

Jerusalem with East Hampton... But I believe that I was successful. Mind you, not due to my own efforts, but to the synergy of sixty women and men in search. In search of truth and of happiness -- trying to make some sense of this chaotic world. People sharing sacred moments attempting to discover our unique mission statement, our indispensable contribution to life. Trying to find our center amidst the din of many loud circles. One cannot create a perfect circle without a firm center. Traveling back to the circle from the center challenges us to join the two. We are the spokes that must integrate a center into the complex circles we draw in our lives. The paradox today is this: The center of Jerusalem is invisible until we create our circle. The center is not our creation, but the circle is. In the West we must create our "Jerusalem." In Israel we cannot. So though we have a blind center from which to draw, it is only after we create the circle that the center comes alive and real. A circle cannot be complete without a center, but a center manifests no physical space without a circle. Strangely, our circle defined by the hub of Jerusalem, helps us all find our way back to the center. And that is our calling today: to refine and transform our "East Hamptons" into the "Promised Land." By doing so, we contribute to fueling the spiritual center of our lives, that is ultimately the only lasting way to bring peace and harmony between all peoples, Jew and Jew, Arab and Jew -- the absolute recognition that our circles are all driven by the One Center, you know who. Transitions are never easy. Especially when coming from heaven to earth. •

And here I am trying to share By Rabbi Simon Jacobson


January 28, 2011

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January 28, 2011

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January 28, 2011

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Rabbi Mordechai Kaminetzky

Crowned Comestible


January 14, 2011

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here is a common denominator among three prominent vessels that are conspicuously placed in the Mishkan. The Aron Kodesh that contains the Holy Luchos known as The Ten Commandments; the Mizbeach HaZahav, the Golden Altar of Incense; and the shulchan all have one aspect in common. They each are adorned with a "zair zahav" a gold crown that surrounds each vessel. The Jews are first told to make an Ark. "You shall cover it with pure gold, from within, and from without shall you cover it, and you shall make on it a gold crown all around" (Exodus: 25 11). When they are told to build a golden altar for the incense offering, they are also commanded to make a crown around it. In reference to that altar, the Torah commands: "You shall cover it with pure gold, its roof and its walls all around, and its horns, and you shall make for it a gold crown, all around”. (Exodus 30:3).But when they are commanded to make the shulchan, the table that holds the lechem hapanim, the showbread, the order to make a crown takes on a different meaning. The Torah calls it more than a crown; it is called a guard. "You shall make a table of acacia wood, two cubits its length, a cubit its width, and a cubit and a half its height. You shall cover it with pure gold, and you shall make for it a gold crown all around." The Torah reiterates the command to make a crown, but this time it uses a word that personifies the function of the crown “umisgarto saviv." "You shall make for it a border of a handbreadth all around, and you shall make a gold crown to guard it all around" (Exodus 25:25). The crown is more than an ornament for the shulchan; it is a border that embodies the Table. Why is the crown designated for the shulchan different than the crown that adorns both the ark and the altar? Why


January 28, 2011

does the shulchan need a crown to serve as border, a guard, a misgeres, more than the other vessels? Reb Dovid of Lelov, a student of the Seer of Lublin, once came to Zelin to visit his friend Rabbi Dovid of Zelin. Hearing that the rabbi of Lelov was visiting him, the Zeliner Rebbe beseeched his wife to bake something special. Alas, the poverty of the couple was dire, and the poor Rebbitzin only had some flour and oil, which she made into biscuits. Upon his first bite, the Rebbe exclaimed in earnest, "These cakes are truly exceptional!" Knowing the source, the Rebbitzen dismissed the compliments of the bland and meager cakes as an appreciation of the effort. Weeks later, the Rebbitzen of Lelov met the Rebbitzen of Zelin. "You must tell me how you made those biscuits that you served my husband. I have never heard him get excited about food before, yet he did not stop praising the biscuits he ate in your home!"

that the Ark, which represents the Torah, should have a crown. When one learns Torah, he creates a crown that surrounds the Ark. The Altar, which represents service of Hashem, has a crown, too. Those who serve Hashem properly merit a crown. It is the crown of avodah. But when it comes to the table, when it comes to the world of bread and butter, the mundane matters of life, the crown serves a different purpose. The crown of majesty turns a table into a Holy Shulchan! It guards it, surrounds it and ensconces it with an aura of spirituality that converts a simple, mundane meal into a holy feast. That crown is more than an adornment. The Torah calls it a misgeres, a guard, which turns our food from the ordinary into morsels flavored and seasoned by the Almighty. Rabbi Shaul Kagan, of blessed memory, Rosh Kollel of Pittsburgh, disliked hearing Jews say, "I am going to a party." "Yidden don't party!" he used to exclaim. "They gather, they rejoice, and they celebrate in the boundaries of the crown of the Almighty. A royal table should not only be set. It should be crowned! •

The Zelin Rebbitzen answered meekly. "There was no recipe. When I heard that the Tzadik of Lelov was coming I realized that I had nothing to serve. Hashem knows that had I the Qsfnbsjubm!'!!Nbssjbhf!Dpbdijoh means I would have Are you dating? Do you plan to marry? made him a feast. For a happy life and a healthy family structure you need education!!! But, alas, I could not. So I asked him to beThe more you know about love, raising children, managing money, stow His great goodcommunicating feelings and needs, the more likely you will have a happy & fulfilling life and marriage. ness and the flavor •! of Gan Eden in the Pwfs!31!zfbst!pg!fyqfsjfodf! biscuits!" "Your I have developed a coaching system that works with the three stages prayers were anof marriage: Before, During & When in crisis. swered," said the Marriage Coach • Pre Marriage Private Teachings • Dating Coach • Rebbitzen of Lelov. Pastoral Marriage Couseling • Marrige Degree Seminars "He said that they Call early before it’s too late... had the taste of Gan Sbccj!Ebwje!Upmfebop Eden!" The Torah tells us


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• 3 cloves garlic • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves • 2 limes, zested • 2 teaspoons ground cumin • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • 1/4 cup tequila • 1 pound tilapia fillets • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 8 (7-inch) round Flour Tortillas • Shredded red cabbage • Lime wedges

Directions Put the garlic, cilantro, lime zest, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small food processor bowl and pulse until combined, approximately 20 seconds. With the processor running, add the tequila. Put the tilapia fillets into a 1 gallon resealable bag, add the garlic mixture and move around to coat each fillet. Set aside at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Heat an electric nonstick griddle to 375 degrees F. Brush the griddle with the olive oil. Cook the fillets until just cooked through and opaque about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Cut into strips and serve in warm tortillas with shredded red cabbage and lime wedges.

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January 28, 2011

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Can you spot the differences in these two pictures?

POWER OF JEWISH CHILDREN For Tzivos Hashem's Power of Jewish Children Competition Menachem Mendel Farkash memorized the entire Shisha Sidrei Mishna in memory of his beloved grandmother, Rebbetzin Sara Rochel Schochet obm. Double Take YOUR Pictures! Please email us your event pictures to


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1.Buttons missing. 2. No flowers on the chairs. 3. Chair in the back is lower. 4. The cupboard on the right has one silver panel. 5. The wooden panel in the back is now narrower. 6. Kiddush cup in the back has moved. 7. The menorah is raised in the back. 8. Mishnayos book moved to the side. 9. The Rabbi’s tie is now closed. 10. Designs are missing from the table cloth.


January 28, 2011

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To place an ad CALL 323-965-1544 GIFTS A Perfect Setting Great gifts for all occasions- invited out for a Shabbos meal? Baby gifts...Bas Mitzvah g i f t s . . . We d d i n g gifts...House warming gifts...Don't put it off. Come in today and go out relieved. Call for a special appointment

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January 28, 2011

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CAREER TRAINING PROGRAMS 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.

A Time for Dance . Our fantastic Drama Workshop meets Sunday mornings 10:15-12:15 at 7269 Beverly Blvd. Girls will have the opportunity to learn acting, improv, character development, tap and theater dance and train vocally under the instructor of our professional staff. As a company, we will produce an end of the year performance for women only! For more information: #766 (323) 404-0827 www. -

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GUEST HOUSE Charming Guest House with private patio, furnished, Kosher kitchenette & private bathroom on Olymipic & La Jolla.Month to month contractwith month security. No smoking, no pets, References please. Call David at Home: 323-934-4826. Cell: 323-687-4154 APARTMENT OR BACK HOUSE WANTED

Looking for apartment or backhouse. Single bochur. Contact Levi 949 246 7046



February 4, 2011

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January 28, 2011

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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 Cohen’s Restaurant RCC 316 E Pico Blvd # F LA, CA 90015 (213) 742-8888 Elat Burger Ben Zaken 9340 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 278-4692 Elite Cuisine RCC 7119 Beverly Blvd. LA, 90036 (323) 930-1303 Shawarma Express Kehila 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

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


26 By Shilo’s Kehila 8657 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310)246-1326

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

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

Metro Glatt RCC 8975 W. Pico Blvd. 90035 (310) 275-4420 Nagilla Meating Place Kehila 9407 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 788-0119 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 Schwartz Bakery and Deli RCC 433 N. Fairfax Avenue, LA, 90036 (323)653-1941 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

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

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

January 28, 2011

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


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

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



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


Nana Cafe RCC 1509 S Robertson Blvd. (310) 407-0404 Pacific Pizza RCC - Cholov Yisroel & Pas Yisroel 12460 Oxnard St. N. Hollywood (818) 760-0087 Pico Cafe Kehila 8944 W Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310)385-9592 Pizza Maven Kehila 140 North La Brea Blvd. 90036 (323) 857-0353 Pizza Nosh Rabbi Ami Markel 30313 Canwood St. A.H. 91301 (818) 991-3000

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(818) 342-0611 Café Del Mar Dairy Kehila 12526 Burbank Blvd. N.H. 91607 (818) 487-8171 Circa RCC 8622 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles (310) 854-0592 Delice Kehila 8583 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 289-6556 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 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 Milk N Honey RCC 8837 West Pico Blvd LA, 90035 (310) 858-8850

Pizza Station Kehila 8965 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 276-8708 Pizza World Kehila 365 Fairfax Ave. LA, 90036 (323) 653-2896 Sassis Sushi Kehila 16550 Ventura, Encino, 91436 (818) 783-2727 Shalom Pizza RCC 8715 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 271-2255 Unique Cafe Rabbi Aron Simkin 18381 Ventura Blvd. Tarzana (818) 757-3100 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

PAREVE Le Sushi RCC 12524 Burbank Blvd N.H. 91607 (818) 763-6600 SushiKo RCC 9340 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 274-3474

Milky Way Kehila 9108 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 859-0004 Nagilla Pizza Kehila 9411 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 788-0111

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January 28, 2011

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Present pesach 2011 in Palm Springs CA AT THE WESTIN MISSION HILLS RESORT AND SPA



STUNNING FIRST CLASS RESORT AND PROGRAM INCLUDES A five star culinary experience provided by KMR and Michael Schick | 24 hr tea room | Balcony/patio in every room with mountain views | Three outdoor pools | Exciting nightly entertainment | Outstanding children’s programs | Seven tennis courts | Two championship golf courses | Acclaimed heartwarming Ba'al Tefillah | Experienced Teachers available for children & adult classes or private learning | Shmurah Matza and Cholov Yisroel


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