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December 2-December 16, 2011

Vol. 8 Issue 195

c�ga, jkahu - tmhu


2 December 2-December 16, 201

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²²ˆÀ° ˆÀ°

The Menachem Institute presents

ѕюѠѠіёіњ іѠћюєёіњ

&

Why the discord? Why the animosity?

 юяяіȱ яџюѕюњȱ  іђяђџњюћȱ ’œȱ ’œȱ ˜›•ȱ  ˜›•ȱ ››Žœ™ŽŒŽȱ Žœ™ŽŒŽȱ юяяіȱяџюѕюњȱ іђяђџњюћȱ ŠŠ—ȱ —ȱ ››Ž—˜ —Žȱ Ž—˜ —Žȱ ‘’œ˜›’Š—ȱ ‘’œ˜›’Š—ȱ   ‘˜ȱ ‘ Šœȱ ••ŽŒž›Žȱ ŽŒž›Žȱ  ‘˜ȱ ‘Šœȱ ŽŽ¡Ž—œ’ŸŽ•¢ȱ˜—ȱŠœœ˜›Žȱ˜™’Œœȱ˜ȱ Ž ’œ‘ȱ ’œ˜›¢ǯȱ ¡Ž—œ’ŸŽ•¢ȱ˜—ȱŠœœ˜›Žȱ˜™’Œœȱ˜ȱ Ž ’œ‘ȱ ’œ˜›¢ǯȱ ›’—Œ’™Š•ȱ ˜ȱ ˜ȱ ˜›ȱ —ŽŠ›•¢ȱ —ŽŠ›•¢ȱ řřŖȱ ˜›ȱ Ŗȱ ¢ ¢ŽŠ›œȱ ŽŠ›œȱ ‘ ‘Žȱ Žȱ    Šœȱ Šœȱ ‘Žȱ ‘Žȱ  ›’—Œ’™Š•ȱ

žŠ’Œȱž’ŽœȱŠȱ‘ž•Š–’‘ȱ ’‘ȱŒ‘˜˜•ȱŠœȱ Ž••ȱ

žŠ’Œȱž’ŽœȱŠȱ‘ž•Š–’‘ȱ ’‘ȱŒ‘˜˜•ȱŠœȱ Ž••ȱ Šœȱ›˜Žœœ˜›ȱ˜ȱ Ž ’œ‘ȱž’ŽœȱŠȱ˜ž›˜ȱ˜••ŽŽȱ Šœȱ›˜Žœœ˜›ȱ˜ȱ Ž ’œ‘ȱž’ŽœȱŠȱ˜ž›˜ȱ˜••ŽŽȱ ‹ ˜‘ȱ ’—ȱ Ž ȱ ˜›”ǯȱȱ ž››Ž—•¢ȱ ‘Žȱ ’œȱ ‘Žȱ ‘Žȱ ŽŠȱ ˜ȱ Œ‘˜˜•ȱ Šȱ ‹˜‘ȱ’—ȱŽ ȱ˜›”ǯȱȱž››Ž—•¢ȱ‘Žȱ’œȱ‘Žȱ‘Žȱ ŽŠȱ˜ȱŒ‘˜˜•ȱŠȱ  ȱ ’›•œȂȱ ’‘ȱ

’‘ȱ  Œ‘˜˜•ȱ ’’—ȱ Šž‘˜›Žȱ ȱ ’›•œȂȱ Œ‘˜˜•ȱ —ȱ  ˜œȱ ˜œȱ  —Ž•Žœǯȱ —Ž•Žœǯȱ

Žȱ Žȱ ‘ ‘Šœȱ Šœȱ Šž‘˜›Žȱ  Š•–ž’ŒȱœŒ‘˜•Š›•¢ȱ ˜›”œȱŠœȱ Ž••ȱŠœȱ—ž–Ž›˜žœȱŠ›’Œ•Žœȱ˜—ȱ‘Žȱ Š•–ž’ŒȱœŒ‘˜•Š›•¢ȱ ˜›”œȱŠœȱ Ž••ȱŠœȱ—ž–Ž›˜žœȱŠ›’Œ•Žœȱ˜—ȱ‘Žȱ  Šœ˜›Š‘ȱ˜ȱŠ—ŠŒ‘ǯȱ Žȱ’œȱ›Žœ™ŽŒŽȱŠœȱŠ—ȱŽ¡™Ž›ȱ˜—ȱ‘ŽȱŠ’›˜ȱ Šœ˜›Š‘ȱ˜ȱŠ—ŠŒ‘ǯȱ Žȱ’œȱ›Žœ™ŽŒŽȱŠœȱŠ—ȱŽ¡™Ž›ȱ˜—ȱ‘ŽȱŠ’›˜ȱ Ž—’£Š‘ȱŠœȱ Ž••ȱŠœȱ˜—ȱŽ—Ž›Š•ȱ Ž ’œ‘ȱ ’œ˜›¢ǯ Ž—’£Š‘ȱŠœȱ Ž••ȱŠœȱ˜—ȱŽ—Ž›Š•ȱ Ž ’œ‘ȱ ’œ˜›¢ǯ

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ŸŠ—ŒŽȱ’Œ”ŽœDZȱǞŝǯśŖȱȊȱȱ‘Žȱ˜˜›DZȱǞŗŖǯŖŖȱ ŸŠ—ŒŽȱ’Œ”ŽœDZȱǞŝǯśŖȱȊȱȱ‘Žȱ˜˜›DZȱǞŗŖǯŖŖȱ For tickets and information please visit our website website at ѕюяюёќѓѡѕђюљљђѦǯќџєȱ˜›ȱŒŠ••ȱŞŗŞǯŝśŞǯŗŞŗŞ ѕюяюёќѓѡѕђюљљђѦǯќџєȱ˜›ȱŒŠ••ȱŞŗŞǯŝśŞǯŗŞŗŞ Under the auspices of Machon Menachem - J & S Gutnick Foundation ‘Š‹Šȱ˜ȱ‘ŽȱŠ••Ž¢ȱȊȱ‘Žȱ’—Ž›ȱǭȱŒ‘ŠŽěŽ›ȱŠ–’•¢ȱŽ—Ž›œ  ‘Š‹Šȱ˜ȱ‘ŽȱŠ••Ž¢ȱȊȱ‘Žȱ’—Ž›ȱǭȱŒ‘ŠŽěŽ›ȱŠ–’•¢ȱŽ—Ž›œ

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December 2, 2011

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Isn’t There Something Good To Say

20

Point Of Order

What has happened? How did political rhetoric and discussion deteriorate to its current low level?

The fellow hunched over Reb Yossel and repeated his statement, this time in a louder and more ominous tone. "By us, we don't sit in the Mashgiach's seat!"

Dr. Robert Rome

Rabbi Mordechai Kaminetzky

16

Feeling Stuck

Toys For Hospitalized Children

Needless to say we were all saddened by this story and we felt that something had to be done about other children in the same predicament.

38

Of course, there are times when we will find ourselves in circumstances beyond our control; but throughout life, we will find ample scope and opportunities to improve our own circumstances. Rabbi Yossy Goldman

Rabbi Eli Hecht

COMMUNITY LINKS • Volume 8 Issue 195 4 December 2-December 16, 201

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say about this man?” A man in the last row raises his hand. The Rabbi motions for him to speak. The man gets up and says, “I think I have something good to say about him. As bad as he was, his brother was even worse!”

Isn’t There Something Good to Say?

We live in a world where it seems that few have anything good to say about others. Many don’t just disagree with their opponents, they see the need to call them names. They call their foes fools, idiots, and worse.

Robert J. Rome, Ph.D

One of my favorite stories involves a young Rabbi who moved to a rather isolated Jewish community where the nearest Jewish community is about 50 miles away. About a month after the young Rabbi arrives in his community, the Rabbi of the nearby community calls him. This other Rabbi needs to go see family members on the other side of the country and will be gone for four days. He asks the young Rabbi to cover for him. The young Rabbi agrees. After two days, the young Rabbi gets a call from the President of the other community. A member of the congregation passed away and he is needed to perform the funeral which will be held the next morning. The young Rabbi indicates that he will be there. The Rabbi arrives at the synagogue and asks to meet with other members of the community who knew the deceased. He wants to put together a eulogy. But each community member he speaks with refuses to talk about the now dead man. The Rabbi decides that he will ask for someone to speak on behalf of the deceased at the funeral. After the introductory prayers at the funeral, the time for the eulogy arrives. The Rabbi asks if someone wishes to speak on behalf of the deceased. No one steps forward. The Rabbi then asks, “Doesn’t anyone have something good to 8 December 2-December 16, 201

We see it in our politics. President Obama is labeled as a “traitor.” Governor Palin is “stupid.” Congresswoman Bachman walks out onstage for a late night TV show and the band plays a song about a b-tch. Vice President Biden is a “clown.” Herman Cain is an “Oreo.” The name calling knows no sides. It is the practice of both many Democrats and many Republicans. Reminiscent of the clash between generations during the sixties, Speaker Gingrich tells the Wall Street Occupiers to “take a bath.” There is a lot of name calling, but little listening to the other side. There is no respect.

I remember other times. Shortly before he was assassinated, President Kennedy was interviewed. He joked about Senator Goldwater who was already considered the leading contender to run against him in 1964, a race that never took place. After some jokes about the Senator, President Kennedy then turned serious and spoke praises about Goldwater. Several months later, after the killing of Kennedy, Senator Goldwater appeared on the Jack Paar show. He told equally funny jokes about President Kennedy with whom he had served in the U.S. Senate. Then he paused to recall the outstanding traits of Kennedy. Imagine that: Opponents for President, political “enemies,” showing love and affection for one another. Recent Presidential elections have been much different. Opponents had to destroy Senator Kerry when he ran for President by spreading some truths, but many untruths about his time in the Navy. We also remember the slogan, “Bush lied, people died.” President Bush was seen as a “murderer.” The higher level of campaigning shown by Kennedy and Goldwater was soon replaced in the negative spirit of the country after the Kennedy assassination and the escalation of the Vietnam War. The same Goldwater admired by Kennedy was presented as a “war monger” by the Johnson

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campaign. The opponents of Johnson began to scream after the ’64 election, “Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” The same Nixon who debated Kennedy in a series of respectful debates in 1960, later turned to dirty tricks and the Watergate plumbers in his second campaign in 1968.

sxc

Doesn’t anyone have anything good to say? Bill Clinton was not my favorite President. Yet, I thought he was the best eulogist ever. When he spoke about the deceased, tears flowed as he communicated the unique contributions of the person being honored. I remember when Clinton spoke of the contributions to the world of Richard Nixon at the Nixon funeral. You would never have known that Nixon was a member of the opposite party.

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What has happened? How did political rhetoric and discussion deteriorate to its current low level? I am an Independent as a voter, although I tend to prefer one party to another. Many times, however, I find members of both parties scoundrels. Yet, I clearly understand that President Obama is a highly intelligent, even gifted individual. I see the ability of Governor Palin to work a crowd, to motivate with her words. I think that Senator McCain is one of the most courageous individuals ever. I admire our own Congressman Sherman as he and his staff work so hard to resolve constituent problems. Yet, each of these is maligned and belittled by opponents. It doesn’t have to be like this. There are numerous examples within our heritage of exemplary individuals taking the extra step to compliment rather than insult. Perhaps the most famous example is in Rashi’s commentary on the character of Noah. As you know, the Torah says that Noah was a righteous man “in his generation.” Most commentators seem to think that these words come to point out the negative qualities of Noah, that he was only righteous in comparison with the wicked of his generation, but had he lived in any other generation he would not have been considered as righteous. But Rashi starts his commentary by pointing out the good in Noah, that these words in the Torah are for Rashi “for praise.” It was a particularly praiseworthy thing to be righteous in such a wicked generation. In my own life, I had a Talmud teacher who found good words to say about every student. I remember one class when a student was called upon to read and comment on the text. He had not prepared. The teacher could have maligned the unprepared student. Instead, the teacher listened patiently as the student fumbled his way in guessing at the meaning of the text. The teacher could have shown anger, but instead smiled and said, “That was an interesting interpretation that I never thought of before.” The teacher went on to provide a more 9 December 2-December 16, 201

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“frequent” interpretation. He asked the student to take one more look at the text before the next class and see what interpretation of the text he could reach with “one more look.” Few students have been more deserving of critical comments than that student, yet, the teacher remained positive. This was an example of positive behavior that has stayed with me ever since. Can we find the good to say about a person, even one of our foes? Can we appreciate (or at least learn to appreciate) those we oppose, to acknowledge their strengths? With all of the negative that is said, we have taught our children to disrespect the President. We also have the lowest percentage ever stating favorable reactions to Congress. The negativity has bred a lack of respect for our leaders. Students do not show respect for teachers. Teachers often show contempt for the students. Everybody seems to speak negatively of everyone else. By the time Presidential elections come around, the media has done such a number on each candidate that most come to hate the candidate of the opposing party, and many come to hate both candidates. We deserve better. We can be much better. It has become fashionable to find no good words to say

about others. But this trend defies the examples of our tradition, the tradition shown by Rashi and by my Talmud professor, among others. We have the opportunity to see good, not bad, to have words of praise, not criticism. Negative words tear at the fabric of our society. Words hurt. I know I have lost my cool and hurled an insult or two, and more, even toward individuals I otherwise like or admire. As the words left my mouth, I regretted what I said, but it was too late. Watch your words. When you think something negative about someone, try to find the positive. Like Rashi, look for the opportunity to praise, not criticize. Like my teacher, motivate others through your words. The right words can restore respect. It is not enough to refrain from Lashon Hara. We can enrich others with the right words. Find the good in others. If you find the good, others will follow. It will make the world a better place, a more enjoyable place. Words have power. Understand this each time you speak.

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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Rabbi Eli Hecht, Chabad of South Bay Vice-President, Rabbinical Alliance of America

CHANUKAHToys for Hospitalized Children

When I was a youngster I couldn’t wait for the bright holiday of Chanukah to arrive. It was a fun-filled time. I knew that my family would hold its great get together. Uncles, aunts and cousins would come to my home where my Bubbie (grandmother) was living. It was an exciting event to celebrate Chanukah with so many people. The week before Chanukah Yankel, the grocer, would deliver two 50 lb sacks of potatoes and a few gallons of cooking oil. During Chanukah it is a custom to eat fried foods in oil to remember the oil that was found to light the Temple candelabra (during the story of Chanukah). My four brothers and four sisters would form a kitchen brigade. Some of us had the job of peeling potatoes while others were busy grinding them. My sweet old Bubbie would stand above the old stove burner with five burners going heating up and frying the many potato patties called latkes. It was quite a chore feeding the many people that attended the Chanukah festivities. Our family was third generation American born. In this great land we were free to have as many children as possible. After all over a million children were killed in World War Two and we felt it was our duty to replenish the world with large Jewish families. My uncle Yankel Yehudah had 10 kids plus two boys who were adopted when they needed special care and a home. My other uncle, Peretz, would come with his seven children and then the other uncles and aunts would come together with their children and there were probably 16 D e c e m b e r 2 - D e c e m b e r 1 6 , 2 0 1

some 50 or 60 children running around our little home in Brooklyn. The highlight of the evening was when everybody lit the Chanukah candles. We would gather around, sing songs, play draidel (a Jewish spin top with Hebrew letters) and, of course, we would receive Chanukah gelt. This is a time honored tradition opf giving silver dollars or coins. We always looked forward to this event. During the evening of Chanukah the children played a guessing game trying to figure out whose candles would last the longest. It took me a few years to realize that when I put the menorah (the candle holder) by the window it would burn brightly but only last a short time. Since the children placed the menorahs on the radiator not realizing that the heat would radiate and melt the candles. Opening the toys and packages was a great moment. For months we would drop hints to our dear parents suggesting to them all kinds of toys that we needed to have. After all, Chanukah was a children’s holiday. One year the following incident took place which changed my life and the life of all our families. My father’s brother, Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht, uncle Yankel Yehuda came to our Chanukah party rather late. He told us that he had been on the way home when he received a phone call from a hospital to visit a colleague. Then the following took place. A nurse stopped him in the hallway and asked if he had a minute to visit the pediatric ward where there was a very sick little boy

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who came from a poor family, had no visitors and had been hospitalized for quite a while. My uncle Yankel had the compassion of the whole world, a heart of gold and made time to visit this little fellow, cheering him up and wishing him a happy Chanukah. As he was leaving the ward he saw a man dressed as Santa Claus arriving with a large bag of wrapped toys for Christmas distribution. The little boy started to cry realizing, or rather thinking that he wouldn’t receive a toy as he was Jewish. My uncle was flabbergasted. He quickly went down to the gift shop and immediately bought the boy a large fire truck and wished him a bright Chanukah. Needless to say we were all saddened by this story and we felt that something had to be done about other children in the same predicament. At that happy Chanukah party a program was launched called “Toys for Hospitalized Children”. A committee was formed between the uncles, aunts, and cousins and during the holiday hundreds of children were soon visited and toys were distributed. Now Jewish children would feel the holiday of Chanukah.

MAKE YOUR MEAL A COMBO! ADD FRIES OR A SMALL SALAD AND A REGULAR FOUNTAIN DRINK TO ANY ITEM

One day my uncle read a letter from a sick child on his weekly radio show. It went like this. “I am 9 years old. I have been very sick as long as I can remember. This year my family doctor told me I was getting weaker and weaker and I would soon stop living. I felt so very sad. On Chanukah you came to visit me and made me happy. You brought me all kinds of toys and tried to cheer me up but I knew that you were doing this as a mitzvah, a good deed. I thank you for all the games that you brought. I am taking my toys and giving them to the sick children on the ward so they too can have toys and I will have a mitzvah..” It has been 40 years that “Toys for Hospitalized Children” has been in operation. This year 25,000 toys are being distributed to children during the holiday of Chanukah. The program has become non-secretarian, serving children from all walks of life. My dear uncle Yankel has passed away but his dream lives on. Every year his twelve married children, together with their children and some of their grandchildren visit many hospitals distributing gifts and bringing happiness to thousands of the sick children. The miracle of Chanukah was when a small group of people, led by a father, Yehudah Ha’Maccabi and his five sons, rebelled against the tyrant government that occupied the country we call Israel. Today I see once again the message of how a father, Yankel Yehudah Hecht, and his five sons, my cousins, can change the life of thousands. I know that when Chanukah arrives we can all bring light and joy to the children. We must remember those who need our help and gifts. By helping others we truly celebrate the message of the holiday, a season of joy celebrating life for all. A happy Chanukah to all of you. Rabbi Eli Hecht, Chabad of South Bay, Vice President, Rabbinical Alliance of America (310) 326-8234 (310) 326-1555, E-mail rabbieh@aol.com 17 D e c e m b e r 2 - D e c e m b e r 1 6 , 2 0 1

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DS WIG DESIGN ONCE AGAIN GAIN PRESENTS: PRESENTS

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POINT OF ORDER

Parshas Vayetzeh

Let me get straight to the point. After all Yaakov did! At least when he dealt with his charlatan father-in-law, Lavan. You see, Yaakov wanted to marry Rachel, Lavan's youngest daughter. He did not have the audacity to ask for her hand in marriage straightforwardly, so when he arrived at Lavan's home, and identified himself as the son of Lavan’s sister, Rivka, Lavan decided to offer his nephew Yaakov work. He would not have him work for free, so he declared, "Just because you are my relative, should you serve me for nothing? Tell me - What are your wages?" (Genesis 29:15).The Torah tells us that "Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, ‘I will work for you seven years, for Rachel your daughter, who is the youngest one.’" What is fascinating is the magnanimous offer Yaakov made. He did not say, “I'd like to marry your daughter and then work. He offered seven years of devoted labor before marriage. What is even more perplexing is the seemingly superfluous language in the request. Why did he annunciate each detail about Rachel? Why ask for Rachel, your daughter, the youngest one? Why not just one of the three? Rashi tells us that Yaakov was afraid. What reason was there for mentioning all these detailed descriptions of Rachel? Because Yaakov knew that Lavan was a deceiver he said to him, "I will serve you for Rachel. If Lavan would say he meant any other Rachel from the street, therefore he said "your daughter.” Should Lavan say, "I will change Leah's name and call her Rachel", Yaakov said "your younger one." It didn't help. In spite of all this, Lavan deceived him. He surreptitiously switched Leah for Rachel, excusing himself in a mocking manner, "By us, in our place, we don't give the younger daughter before the older one!" (ibid v. 26). But we are surely left with a lesson both in Yaakov's specificity and in Lavan's response. Master storyteller Rabbi Ami Cohen tells the tale of the famous and equally pious Reb Yossel Czapnik, who in his unpretentious manner walked one day into a large yeshiva. He was unfamiliar with the workings of that particular school, and as he meandered about the great study hall, his Chassidic garb and uncombed beard attracted some stares from some of the students who were not accustomed to 20 D e c e m b e r 2 - D e c e m b e r 1 6 , 2 0 1

that sort of persona in their academy. Innocently he looked at the bookshelves crammed with countless volumes of Talmudic and Biblical exegeses, picked up a volume, sauntered over to a chair toward the back of the study hall, and began to study the book. A moment later, a tall young man towered over him peering down through the narrow gap that separated his spectacles from his ruddy face. In a very sarcastic tone he sneered, "In our Yeshiva, we do not sit in the Mashgiach's seat." Reb Yossel looked up for a moment, and in his pure naiveté smiled, and agreed, mumbling as he peered back down in the volume, "by us as well." The fellow hunched over Reb Yossel and repeated his statement, this time in a louder and more ominous tone. "By us, we don't sit in the Mashgiach's seat!" Reb Yossel shook his head and acknowledged. "In our yeshiva too!" By this time, the exasperated, young man changed his tactic. In a sharp voice, he commanded. "I don't know who you are, but you are sitting in the Mashgiach's seat!" Upon hearing those words, Reb Yossel bounded out of the seat. He turned to the fellow in authentic shock. "I was sitting in your Mashgiach's seat?” he asked in horror. “Why didn't you say so in the first place?" Perhaps the exchange that is portrayed in the Torah teaches us two lessons at once. A person who requests something should be clear, direct, and accurate. Yaakov clearly stated his want, "Rachel, your youngest daughter." There should be no room for error or an opening for surreptitiousness. Like Yaakov, you can't always win, but you have to try your best with a most clear request. In addition, if you don't want to accept the terms, say no right from the start. Don't deride your counterpart saying, "By us, we don't do it this way." Mocking the individual, while making him feel like an anomaly, is no way to explain your position. Be clear, honest, and precise. You may disagree, but you will gain a lot more respect. By Rabbi M. Kamenetzky www.torah.org

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Jewish Observer Parshas Vayishlach

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After decades of separation, Yaakov is about to meet Esav and try to reconcile their differences. In order to prepare for the encounter Yaakov sends emissaries to Esav. "He charged them, saying - "Thus shall you say, 'To my lord, to Esau, so said your servant Jacob - Im Lavan garti, I have sojourned with Laban and have lingered until now" (Genesis 32:4). Rashi explains on a simple level that Yaakov was stating that he became neither an officer nor a prince. He remained a sojourner. Thus Esav has no reason to bear ill will. Rashi then gives another explanation. He explains that there was a cryptic message hidden within the words. The

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word garti (Im Lavan garti ) has the numerical value of taryag (613) mitzvos. Yaakov is telling Esav, "during my stay I have kept the 613 mitzvos, and I have learned naught of Lavan's evil ways." Why Yaakov sent that message to Esav is worth an essay in itself. What I question is the very statement itself. Isn't it redundant? If Yaakov kept the 613 mitzvos in the house of Lavan then it is obvious that he did not learn from his evil ways! Why repeat it? A friend told me the following narrative: A visit to one of Brooklyn's densely populated Jewish enclaves is always a challenge for the suburban motorist. Parking is at a premium and spotting a spot and getting to it info@communitylinks.info


before another car does is one of the motorist's greatest challenges. On one visit I was fortunate enough to find a spot that allowed my tiny car to slither into a spot that had no car within five feet in front of me or five in back. I parked, left the car, fulfilled my mission and returned to my car only to see that it was now wedged between two vehicles. There was no way that I would ever maneuver my way out of the space! I was upset at the drivers who wedged me in like that, but there was no way out. I decided to get into my car and wait until either the car behind me would back up or the one in front of me would move forward, allowing me to get my own vehicle out of the tight space. It was only a few moments before a man entered the car in front of me. I was relieved.

After spewing his disappointment in my communication skills, yelling that I had no right to toot my horn at him, he trudged back to his car, started the motor and moved up a few notches, allowing me to begin my departure. But when he moved up, I was able to read his bumper sticker -- and that set me off. It read, "Put the brakes on Lashon HoRah (Gossip)." I could not contain myself. I shut my motor, walked out of my car and approached him. "Mister," I began with a sarcastic politeness, "for a fellow who is so worried about Lashon HoRah, you sure opened up a mouthful!" The man squinted his eyes in puzzlement. "I don't know what you are talking about," he exclaimed. "In my conversation with you I did not speak one word of Lashon Horah!"

My composure diminished as I realized that he was not going anywhere. He had opened a newspaper as he sat in the drivers seat and began to read. For a few minutes he just sat and read.

Perhaps Yaakov's message to Esav is the message to each one of us. Esav was no barbarian. The holy Rebbe Rav Simcha Bunim of P'shischa would say, Esav wore the Rabbinical Garb as well!"

I admit that my laziness induced me to act in an inappropriate manner. Instead of walking out of my car, approaching his and asking him to move, I tapped ever so slightly on my horn. I thought he would look at his rear view mirror and I would then motion for him to move forward.

So Yaakov told him, I kept all the mitzvos. But that means nothing. One can keep al the mitzvos, sway in the synagogue with a fervor and rally against gossip. Unfortunately he can still learn from Lavan's devious ways.

I was wrong. He stormed out of the car and berated me for honking at him. I think he was speaking English. I am not sure. In my home we spoke Yiddish and most of my English I learned from the radio. Most of the words that he used are not allowed on the radio.

Therefore, Yaakov's statement is hardly redundant. We need him to say both: I kept the mitzvos and did not learn from his crafty ways. We need to keep the codified mitzvos, but we also must make sure to keep the mitzvos that are uncodified as well. We must not only keep the commandments, we cannot learn from Lavan's ways.•

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Em Habanim's Community Banquet

We offer counseling for: LA County commissioner presents honorees Mark Castiel, Andre Chriqui and Johny Elbaz Deckel with Commendations from the County of Los Angeles at Em Habanim's Service to the Community Banquet in Valley Village , California on Sunday November 6th.

Domestic Violence/Anger Management Groups Sexual Addictions Drug/Alcohol Education, Assessments & Testing Parenting Classes

Pictured from left to right: Andre Chriqui, Mark Castiel, Rabbi Joshua Bittan, David Suissa, Johny Elbaz Deckel, Sidney Chriqui, Aime Oiknine, Ami Elbaz Deckel and LA County Commissioner Howard Winkler.

Monitored Visitation /Child Exchange Individual/Family/Marriage Counseling Eating Disorders Teen Counseling DNA/Paternity Testing Women Support Groups

Dennis Brown

Non Profit Organization

MA, NCACII, SAP Executive Director

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R

E B M

TH 9 1

E C E

D : R

U

O TT

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E R A

P T X

NE

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FEELING STUCK Philosophers have long struggled with the great question of our freedom of choice on the one hand, and our belief in a higher destiny on the other. Is life determined by fate, or do we enjoy genuine freedom?

Generally, Judaism would seem to subscribe to a personal freedom in matters of morality, faith and the ethical choices we make in life. But when it comes to things like life and death, and even health and wealth, much as we would like to think we are in the driver’s seat, we do seem to be subject to forces beyond our control. Where we live, how long we will live, how comfortably we will live—these are all in G‑d’s hands. Where we can and must choose is what kind of life we will lead. Whether it will be a G‑dly, righteous, upstanding, decent and honest life—this is up to us, and us alone. G‑d steps back to grant us the freedom to determine how good, how kind and how Jewish we will, or will not, be.

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And Jacob lifted his feet and went on his way (Genesis 29:1). This verse from our Parshah tells of Jacob’s journey in his escape from the wrath of Esau. He was en route to Haran, where he would eventually establish his family and lay the foundations for the Jewish people. But why the curious language, “And Jacob lifted his feet”? Does the Torah really need to tell us that in order to move, we have to first lift our feet? Was he stuck in a swamp or something?

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dom) tells the story of how, as a young philosophy student at Cambridge, he traveled the world visiting great leaders. When he came to see the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Rebbe asked him what he was doing for the Jewish students at Cambridge. He began by saying, “In the circumstances I currently find myself . . .” whereupon the Rebbe interrupted him and said, “No one ‘finds himself ’ in circumstances. We create our own circumstances.” Of course, there are times when we will find ourselves in circumstances beyond our control; but throughout life, we will find ample scope and opportunities to improve our own circumstances. G‑d gives each of us our own unique qualities, talents and potential, and it is up to us to use and develop these gifts. Life is full of inspiring examples of individuals who have overcome disabilities and disadvantages of one kind or another. In the Jewish world, many have risen to prominence from the humblest beginnings. The Torah is the birthright of every Jew. We just have to go out and claim it. So many of us look at our circumstances and shrug our shoulders, “Nu, what can you do?” If we were born into poverty or raised in a less-than-privileged environment, we resign ourselves to being doomed to failure. So many people have told me that they were part of the “lost generation” of Jews who had no Jewish education or upbringing. Their immigrant parents were so busy surviving in a new world that they had no time or headspace to raise their children with the Jewish value system they themselves had back in Europe. Tragically, these individuals felt that, Jewishly, they were lost forever.

The words of our Parshah are quite deliberate and wellchosen after all. “Jacob lifted his feet and went on his way.” Some people follow their feet wherever they will take them. No matter the direction, they simply coast along, allowing their feet to lead them. Not so Jacob. He was master of his feet and master of his circumstances. He set his feet on the right road, and became master of his destiny. May we all be inspired to lift ourselves beyond our circumstances. By Rabbi Yossi Goldman

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (Chief Rabbi of the United King-

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COMMUNITY LINKS CHANUKAH EDITION

ARTWORK DEADLINE: DEC. 9 PUBLICATION CIRCULATION: DECEMBER 16 40 D e c e m b e r 2 - D e c e m b e r 1 6 , 2 0 1

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In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, and sweet potato. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring to combine. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface. Knead in flour with hands as needed (dough will be sticky). Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out dough with a 2 1/4-inch round cutter. Cut out center of doughnuts with a 3/4inch round cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. In a Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat to 360 degrees F. Cook doughnuts,

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in batches, in hot oil, 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. Ice top of doughnuts with Maple Icing, and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Maple Icing: • 2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and 3 tablespoons milk; stir well. Add additional milk to reach desired consistency. Stir in maple extract.

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DoubleTake

Can you spot the differences in these two pictures? AFTER SCHOOL ZONE The After School Zone began its winter session right after Sukkos with Woodwork (Jr. and Sr. groups), Art (boys and girls classes), Sewing, & Basketball. Next session begins after Chanuka with even more classes! Sign your child up today to experience the fun, express their creativity, and build skills in a safe Jewish environment. Call 310-770-5092, or e-mail afterschoolzonela@gmail.com. Check us out on facebook to see more pictures (afterschoolzonela).

Double Take YOUR Pictures! Please email us your event pictures to Info@communitylinks.info

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CHANGES KEEP SCORE

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Dining Guide Listing Please Call 323-965-1544

DINING GUIDE 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 Jeffs Gourmet Kehila 8930 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 858-8590 La Gondola Kehila 9025 Wilshire Blvd. BH, 90211 (310) 247-1239

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

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

La Seine 14 N. La Cienega Beverly Hills, CA 90211 310 358 0922

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

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

Bramis Pizza

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

(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

Schwartz Bakery and Deli RCC 433 N. Fairfax Avenue, LA, 90036 (323)653-1941

Jerusalem Pizza Kehila

Shanghai Kehila 9401 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 553-0998

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

Shilohs Kehila 8939 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 858-1652

(818) 758-9595

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

Schnitzle Kehila 9216 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 786-8282

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 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

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

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

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

The Meating Place KCA 30313 Canwood St. AH, 91301 (818) 706-1255 Tierra Sur at Herzog Winery 3201 Camino DelSol Oxnard (818) 752-6866

17942 Ventura Blvd. Encino, CA 91316

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

Subway Kehila 8948 W Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 274-1222

Pico Cafe Kehila 8944 W Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310)385-9592

RCC

17736 ShermanWay, Reseda 91326

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

Pacific Pizza RCC - Cholov Yisroel & Pas Yisroel 12460 Oxnard St. N. Hollywood (818) 760-0087

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

ou

Nana Cafe RCC 1509 S Robertson Blvd. (310) 407-0404

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

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47 D e c e m b e r 2 - D e c e m b e r 1 6 , 2 0 1

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