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May 17 - May 31, 2 0 1 3

d”ga, iuhx c”f - iuhx ‘ j

Vol. 10 Issue 231


H ike in L ak e L ou is e

La ke Lo uis e Ho rseback rid ing

a summer vacation in the

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May 23 - June 9 The Rebbe Shlit”a will personally accept visitors who are interested in a private consultation, and to receive his blessing and advice (English/Hebrew/Yiddish) in the Fairfax, Pico-Robertson, Valley Village, Encino, Tarzana & Woodland Hills neighborhoods.

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May17, 2013• 323-965-1544 •

May 17, 2013 • 323-965-1544 •







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ls il H y ly rl e v e B & s le e g n A s o L f o

34 th Year




Dates/Sessions D


July 1 - July 26 July 29 - August 16

Mini Gan Izzy: 3-5 Girls: 6-13 Boys: 6-10




May 17, 2013

Next Issue Next Advertising Deadline May 24, 2013 Circulation May 31, 2013 Media Kit & Pricing 323.965.1544 Email News & Press Releases Virtual Subscription


Blessings of Infinite Kindness

The blessings of the Kohanim find theirway to their recipients quickly and without the grinding of the wheels of the upper worlds. Rabbi Reuven Wolf

Time Out


I knew this 20 minutes was significant and demonstrated to me just how clearly we are not in control and that as a member of the Universe we are all subject to the greater scheme of things. Mia Adler Ozair, MA, LPCC, NCC

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 permission of the publisher.


New Torah for LA Cheder

A celebration marking students’ memorizing 118,547 lines of Mishnayos, Tanya and more, a new Sefer Torah was welcomed to the Cheder Menachem of Los Angeles dedicated by the Menlo family.

28 The Unveiling of the Raoul Wallenberg Gold Medal Design

Courtesy of Ezra Friedlander


May17, 2013• 323-965-1544 •

May 17, 2013 • 323-965-1544 •


Blessings of Infinite Kindness RABBI REUVEN WOLF


his week’s Parsha—Parshas Naso—contains a Mitzvah that I hope all our friends had the opportunity to witness and partake in: Birchas Kohanim—the Blessing of the Congregation of Israel by the Kohanim, the Priestly class, the descendants of Aharon who served in the Temple and who blessed the people every day. In Sephardic communities, the custom is that Kohanim bless the people every day, but among Ashkenazim, the custom is that the Kohanim bless the people only on Yom Tov. Thus, a few days ago, in Ashekenazic synagogues all over the world, the Kohanim blessed the people along with the Kohanim in Sephardic synagogues. The power of the Priestly Blessing is the greatest of blessings and I hope everyone was able to be there on Yom Tov a few days ago to receive BIrchas Kohanim. This Mitzvah is described in this week’s Parsha—Bamidbar (Numbers), Chapter 6, Verses 22–27— and if we take a close look at the Mitzvah and how the rabbis analyze it, we find some strange goings on. First, the language of the Torah: Verse 23 has Hashem telling Moshe to say to Aharon and his sons, “So shall you bless the Children of Israel, say to them—” and the next three verses contain the text of the blessing. Why the extra words, “say to them”? Without that phrase, we would understand that what follows is the text of what the Kohanim should say. The Rabbis of the Talmud derive from this that the Priestly Blessing must be said in Biblical Hebrew, just as the words appear in the Torah. There are other prayers that can be said in translation—the Shema, for example—but not the Priestly Blessing. That must be recited in Lashon HaKodesh— the “Holy Tonugue,” meaning, Hebrew. Why is that the case? The Shema is, after all, among the most revered and sanctified prayers of our faith. If that can be said in translation (so that it will be well-understood by the person reciting it), why can that not apply to the Priestly Blessing? Then, at the end of this section, the Torah tells us that after the Kohanim will bless the People, “V’ani ava-re-chem”—“then 8

I [meaning, Hashem] will bless them.” Now, just who is being blessed after the Kohanim bless the people? The Talmud (Hullin 49a) relates a dispute between Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Yishmael says that “them” refers to the Kohanim, so that Hashem is saying that He will bless the Kohanim after they bless the people. Rabbi Akiva, says, no, the “them” referred to here is the Jewish People the Kohanim already blessed, meaning, Hashem will confirm the blessing of the Kohanim. The question arises, what about the Kohanim— are they deprived of a blessing from G-d? Why should that be the case, after they have loving blessed the People? But Rabbi Akiva answers, no, the Kohanim are also blessed by G-d, but that is derived from a different Verse: Hashem says to Avraham (Bereishis 12:3), “I will bless those who bless you,” and Tosafot comments that even people outside the Jewish Faith will be blessed if they bless the Jewish People because Israel is the Chosen People, precious to Hashem. So Rabbi Akiva also believes the Kohanim are blessed, but they are not included in the blessing that the Kohanim bestowed on the people. Rabbi Yishmael, on the other hand, includes the Kohanim in their own blessing, so that all of Am Yisrael, including the Kohanim, receive the blessing they themselves uttered. The Talmud goes further and says that Rabbi Yishmael believed as he did because he himself was a Kohein and so was partial, loving and protective of his fellow Kohanim. It seems clear from this that, though Hashem has promised Avraham that He will bless those that bless Israel, the blessing of the Kohanim is even greater. (Otherwise, why would May17, 2013• 323-965-1544 •

faster, one might say, than even such blessings bestowed by Hashem Himself. But how can this be, and why should this be the case? Why, in fact, do blessings of any kind take any time at all to be fulfilled? Don’t the fruits and fulfillment of all blessing come from the same source—Hashem, the Almighty—and can’t those blessing be fulfilled and granted in the wink including the Kohanim in the Priestly of any eye? Human blessings and Blessing be a case of Rabbi Yishmael commitments to help someone may showing favor to the Kohanim?) In sometimes take time; but shouldn’t a order to understand this, we have to blessing that comes from Hashem be take a closer look at the very concept of fulfilled immediately? blessing. The deeper understanding of what A blessing—a beracha—is an a blessing from Hashem is, is that such outflowing of kindness and goodness a blessing has a profound effect on the from Hashem. The word “beracha” entire scheme of Creation, from the implies this; the word is used, for supernal World of Emanation (Atzilut) example, to describe a grafting of a that is the first world through which vine by another vine so that the life of Hashem relates to the Universe He one vine can flow into and give life to created, and then through the many another vine. A blessing thus represents myriad chambers and aspects of the the flowing of Chesed—kindness— other levels or “Worlds” of Creation, from above, from the source, to one in so that the blessing should really be need. What flows may be health to one beneficial to the person blessed. In those who is sick; a child to a couple who is Worlds, the blessing deals with the barren; understanding to one who is many spiritual elements of the world confused. This is also why the Mitzvah and of life, so that when it ultimately of blessing the people was assigned reaches the person, it can be accepted to the Kohanim. The Kohanim are and applied to the material needs that the very personification of Chesed, the person has. And this takes time— kindness. The Kohein gives the sinner time for the person to prepare to receive an opportunity to repent and find the blessing, and time for the worlds forgiveness—and he will bestow his to adjust to what the blessings call blessing on the People “Be-ahava”— upon them to do to make the blessing “with love,” as the blessing the Kohein meaningful, effective—and real. recites before he performs this mitzvah Here’s something else seemingly says. He bestows the blessing without strange that that this may clear up: judgment and without demands—he We say that the fate of every person is lovingly blesses the Children of Israel determined on Rosh Hashanah, down no matter whether the blessing is to how much they will have to eat in the deserved or not. coming year. So why do we continue Though this quality—the flow to pray to Hashem for sustenance of Chesed—is characteristic of all throughout the year, if the decision blessings, there is something special and has already been made? The answer is: unique about the blessing of Kohanim. we pray throughout the year that we The blessings of the Kohanim, say the will make ourselves fit to receive the Kabbalists, are fulfilled with lightening blessing from the upper World—we speed—faster than all other blessings; pray that the way we live our lives will

The blessings of the Kohanim find their way to their recipients quickly and without the grinding of the wheels of the upper worlds.

May 17, 2013 • 323-965-1544 •


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make the blessing a real blessing, and not a curse in disguise—something we’ll fritter away. And, well, we need time to make ourselves worthy and fit to receive the blessing that is wending its way through the upper worlds to us. We need time and effort to turn the ethereal, spiritual form of the blessing into something material— the material blessings that we need in order to live and enjoy life. That is how blessings usually work in the Heavenly realm, but the blessings of the Kohanim find their way to their recipients quickly and without the grinding of the wheels of the upper worlds. The Kohanim see us both as we are and as we might be—able to almost miraculously make ourselves fit and suited for the blessings coming from the upper worlds. This is a kind of Chesed—a Midah, characteristic of the Divine—that forgoes the mechanism that demands that recipients of blessing be ready and suited for them. The love of the Kohein for the


People of Israel taps into a higher level of Chesed—what the Kabbalists call Rav Chesed: Infinite Kindness. It’s a kindness that sees the great need and the dire straits people are in, and calls upon the material blessings that will save them, heal them, help them, give them what they long for; what they need—even if it’s what they only think they need. The blessing of the Kohanim taps into a deeper level of Hashem’s love and kindness for His creation, and brings it down—quickly, materially, and lovingly— to help in ways that we human beings can feel the urgent need for. Perhaps the person blessed will be able to handle it and it will truly be a blessing; but perhaps not. The Kohein includes in his blessing a prayer that the blessing will be granted, and the person receiving it will find a way to make good use of it. This prayer, plus the fact that the Kohein is bringing down the blessing directly from Hashem—“and I [Hashem]will bless them,” which the

Torah promises in our Parsha, becomes the literal truth in Birchas Kohanim—are why the Priestly Blessing can only be said in the Holy Tongue, in Hebrew. Is it any wonder that the Bracha the Kohein makes before he blesses Am Yisroel identifies the Kohein’s motivation and his feeling toward those whom he blesses as Ahava—love for us, his fellow human beings. Rabbi Reuven Wolf is a world renown educator and lecturer who has devoted his life to reaching out to Jews of all ages and circumstances and rekindling their spirit of Judaism. Raised in the Ropschitzer Chassidic dynasty, he was educated in the Belz and Bluzhev Yeshivos, and later in the celebrated Yeshivos of Slabodka and Mir. He is profoundly influenced by Kabbalah and the Jewish Mystical teachings of Chabad Chassidic philosophy. Since 1995, Rabbi Wolf has taught Jews of all ages, all across North America. In 2006, Rabbi Wolf and Haki Abhesera founded Maayon Yisroel as a center dedicated to spreading the profound mystical teachings of Chassidic Judaism and to fostering the love of Jewish tradition among all Jews, particularly the young Jewish population of Southern California.

May17, 2013• 323-965-1544 •

May 17, 2013 • 323-965-1544 •


Time T ime O Out ut



s usuaal I was rushing. It was 1:00 PM on a Thursdaay and I something—seeing someone or something that would haave been n beneficial. Regardless, while sitting there in the silence I had to drop something off at someone’s home before coming less thaan ha back to pick up my son (#2 of 5 as I aaff ffectionately refer e to him) at rested my head agaaiinst the wall. I met a neighbor thaat I’d never seen n man who doesn’t speaakk much English and 1:30 PM to take him for a physical at the doctor. As I’m mentally before—a nice Koreaan taakking stock of all thaat I need to bring with me I grab things off found it a bit odd that I was sitting on the floor. I smiled. He smiled nd entered his home. The elevator beeped and buzzed. A of the table, grab my purse and head out the door. At the exact back aan nce. Voices echoed in the staaiirwell. My moment the door slammed behind me I reached into my pocket horn honked in the distaan nd gave me for my keys. In thaat same second the flash of insight in my mind other neighbor, a college student, exited his apartment aan a funny look. I told him this was my new haan ngout. He chuckshowed me exaactly where the keys were—on my dining room led and wished me luck. But I knew better. I knew table. Expletive. k had nothing to do with it. I knew this 20 Checking my watch I start running throu minutes was significaan nt aan nd demonstrated to the ways in which I can get back into my apartme just how clearly we are not in control and ment while simultaneously cursing myself thaat as a member of the Universe we are all for the stupidity of grabb b ing everything but subject to the greater scheme of things. my keys. At thaat moment I still haad hope I’d love to say that during these 20 of keeping my schedule. Of course first minutes I haad some epiphaan ny, some manager. He’s thing I call the building maan jor realization or light bulb moment, but not in. I call my husbaan nd. He’s aan n hour I didn’t. The 20 minutes came aan nd went away at best aan nd has no desire to rescue with little faan nfare. In hindsight I realize it his damsel in distress. I try calling my son’s was a test of sorts. Even just a few months school explaaiining thaat I need child #2 home ago I would haave gotten aan ngry aan nd huffed aan nd at 1 PM instead of at 1:30 PM as the morning’s puffed aan nd flipped out. I would haave taken e it note indicated and the womaan n who aan nswered said she would do whaat she could to track him I kn knew ew tthis his 20 m minutes inutes sooumt eoonntehfoosre maryouacntdiomnse. aanInwdoturileddhtaoveblalemt iet down. I pause aan nd think: should I risk causw was as ssignificant ignificant aand nd ruin my daay aannd color all of the events thaat ing child #2 to haave his phone taakken away and text him during the day? Surely this counts d demonstrated emonstrated ttoo m mee followed it. But I didn’t. I passed with flying as an emergency. I do it aan nd waaiit for a reply. jjust ust how how clearly clearly we we are are coonlcoersI irfeaIlizmaeady Isaawyasson’tmgyosinelgf,asnimywphlyerbeeIcasuusreNothing. I text agaaiin,“Hello?” Nothing. I call not not iin n ccontrol. ontrol. rendered. I gave myself over to the circumthe school reception agaaiin—they still haaven’t stance aan nd accepted thaat there was nothing I found him. It’s now 1:10 PM and it has benge whaat was haappening. I immedicome clear thaat I am not going aan nywhere. I leaan n agaaiinst the wall was going to do or saay to chaan and slowly slide down it to sit on the floor with a deep sigh and ately showed gratitude for HaShem’s role in my life even though his n didn’t quite maatch with my own. And you know whaat? t It felt mutter aloud, “Okaay HaShem, I get it. I’m in a 20 minute time plaan good. If felt really good. out.” Now here’s your test: Why is it HaShem has put this article in Sure enough at 1:30 child #2 showed up on time with keys. His phone, of course, haad been forgotten at home that daay. The or- front of your eyes? Maybe it’s time for a time out . . . chestration of my daate with those 20 minutes haad been thoroughly plaan nned from the daawn of daay. At first I thought perhaaps I was be- M Mia ia Adler Adler Ozair, Ozair, M MA, A, LPCC, LPCC, NCC NCC is is a licensed licensed clinical clinical ppsychotherapist sychotherapist aand nd ing “punished”, then it occurred to me thaat maaybe HaShem wanted eeducator ducator w with ith a pprivate rivate ppractice ractice iinn B Beverly everly H Hills, ills, C California. aliffornia. M Mia ia iiss licensed licensed in in oth California Califfornia aand nd IIllinois llinois and and she she can can bbee reached reached th through rough her her website website aatt www www. w. me to slow my pace, take some breaths, care more for myself. Or, bboth bhcounselinggcenter.comter @M @MiaAdlerOzair. iaAdlerOzair. perhaaps HaShem wasn’t punishing me but protecting me from bhcounselingcenter.comter 12

May17, 2013• 323-965-1544 •

May 17, 2013 • 323-965-1544 •


Cheder Menachem Annual Auction T

he Los Angeles Community is once again gearing up for the Cheder Menachem Annual Auction, which will take place this year June 13, 2013 at the Beautiful and Lush Gilmore Adobe located in the heart of L.A. next to the Grove. Last year, over 320 guests attended the auction. The event was hilariously emceed by Rabbi Abba Pelrmutter from Belmont Shores. The charming Cheder Menachem Boys Choir entertained guests as they enjoyed a sushi bar, cappuccino station, hors devours and many more

delicacies from MGM Catering. Over 60 prizes were won by Cheder Menachem Supporters, including travel packages, electronics, Judaica, cash, gift cards and much more. Supporting a mosad has never been more fun and rewarding. Try your luck this year and see what you can win! Go to too view this year’s assortment of enticing prizes and purchase tickets. Winner need not be present at event to claim prizes.

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May17, 2013• 323-965-1544 •

May 17, 2013 • 323-965-1544 •


Parshas Naso



he longest parsha of the Torah is the parsha of Naso, which we read publicly this Shabat. A great part of its length is due to the repetition of the offerings and gifts of the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel at the dedication of the Mishkan. Since each one of the twelve leaders brought the identical offering to the occasion and, furthermore, since the Torah itself at the conclusion of the parsha gives us a total summation of their offerings, the question naturally begs itself as to why the Torah should expend so many words and so much detail on this matter. This question has troubled all of the commentators to the Torah and many divergent answers and opinions have been advanced to help explain the matter. All seem to be in agreement that the Torah wishes to emphasize the individual worth and contribution of each of these leaders of Israel and gave each one recognition by listing his offering individually. While this explanation and insight is undoubtedly true, it seems not to be wholly satisfactory in light of the great length that the Torah goes to in its detail of every offering. Each of the leaders could have been mentioned by name without having to repeat the entire paragraph detailing his offering. And yet as the length of the parsha indicates, the Torah took no shortcuts regarding this matter. Even in kabbalistic thought and works, no clear explanation emerges regarding this anomaly of Torah writing. It would be arrogant and foolish of me to advance any personal explanation of mine to address this difficulty. Though space has 16

been left for every generation of Jews to add their insights into the Torah there are areas where even angels should fear to tread. Just as with parsha of the red heifer, the Torah purposely offers up to us a rule that defies our rational powers of logic and explanation, so too are there are other areas of the Torah that defy our sense of proportion and human understanding. I have always felt that this alone – the mystery of it all – is in itself a portion of what the Torah wishes to communicate to us with the repetition of the offerings of the leaders of Israel in this week’s parsha. A Torah that makes perfect sense to the human mind can never be a Divine Torah. The mystery, even call it the illogic of certain sections of the Torah is itself the sign of its Divine origin. The error of the “enlightened ones,” the schools of biblical criticism and of many who deem themselves to be scholars in these matters is that they approach the Torah as they would approach any human work of wisdom or prose. If one approaches the Torah from the vantage point of it being a Divine document, mysterious and wondrous, greater than what the human mind can encompass, then the Torah takes on a different dimension in one’s thoughts and life. Perhaps this parsha is one of the many places where Jews can only stand back and wonder in awe as to the Divine wisdom that the Torah blesses us with even when we are unable to discern that wisdom clearly. May17, 2013• 323-965-1544 •

May 17, 2013 • 323-965-1544 •


L-R: Uriel Gurvitz, Yitzy Rosenberg (boys in the Ner Yaakov Class), Mr. Steve Spira (event host), Dr. Michael Held (Executive Director, Etta). Mr. Spira receives a thank-you basketball with the Etta logo signed by all the boys in the class.


tta Israel Center’s 11th Annual Dessert Reception, held April 21 at the home of Steve and Lorraine Spira, celebrated the Center’s educational programs and new adult services. Etta provides services that empowers people with special needs to live rich, active lives as members of the Los Angeles Jewish community. The large turnout was a testament to Etta’s beloved and important role in LA. In addition to the Ner Shoshana Classroom (in memory of Shoshana Hayman Greenbaum, hy”d), the Ner Yaakov Classroom (in memory of Mr. Aharon Yaakov Kornwasser, z”l), and Summer@Etta, Etta is also providing more and more services


Etta Israel Center’s 11th Annual Dessert Reception

for adults -- from the four Group Homes to Independent Living Services, Supported Living Services, and case management and assisted living management. Mr. Moishe Streicher was the emcee, and the evening was cochaired by Lila Eilat, Tzipporah Coronel, Jackie Kest, Rivka Gross, Tali Merewitz, Cheryl Nagel, Betty Ryzman and Deena Zyskind. The guest speaker, Mr. Charlie Harary, inspired the whole audience with his words, noting: “This is the legacy of our people... to create light.” For more information about the Etta Israel Center, please call 818-985-3882 ext 231or visit

May17, 2013• 323-965-1544 •

May 17, 2013 • 323-965-1544 •


New Torah for LA Cheder A celebration marking students’ memorizing 118,547 lines of Mishnayos, Tanya and more, a new Sefer Torah was welcomed to the Cheder Menachem of Los Angeles dedicated by the Menlo family.


s in the past 12 years from Yud Shvat through Yud Alef Nissan, talmidim of Cheder Menachem in Los Angeles presented a special and most befitting gift for the Rebbe in honor of Yud Alef Nissan with their annual Mishnayos Baal Peh Program; together, the talmidim learned and were tested on a total of 118,547 lines of Mishnayos, Tanya, Siddur and Yediyos Klaliyos. This number includes 9,040 Mishnayos – including 153 complete Masechtos and 1,104 Perakim, as well as 176 Perakim of Tanya Baal Peh, totaling 13,040 lines of Tanya Beal Peh This year’s achievements include, Levi Greenbaum, 8th Grade, who learned the entire Seder Moed, Kodshim, as well as many other Masechtos. Levi Greenbaum also learned 2,000 lines of Tanya Be’al Peh (38 Perokim) in honor of the 200th yahrtzeit of the Alter Rebbe this year. Tanya; Yossi Raeburn, 6th Grade, who learned the entire Seder Moed in addition to many other Mesechtos; Levi Mishulovin, 8th Grade, who learned the entire Seder Moed as well as the first 12 Perakim Tanya. On Sunday, Gimmel Sivan, a special ceremony was held 20

where the talmidim were awarded Seforim as prizes for their efforts and achievements. This year a special addition to the program was the welcoming of a new Sefer Tortah to the Cheder by the Menlo family, a noted philanthropic family and supporters of Torah institutes in Los Angeles. Rebbonim, Roshei Yeshivos, Shluchim, Mashpiyim, parents and friends joined together to recognize and congratulate the achievements of the students, in a tent erected in the public school yard next to the Cheder, and welcome the Torah. Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum, Menahel of Cheder Menachem, welcomed everyone with a D’var Torah and giving a Yasher Koach to the talmidim. Words of Bracha were shared by Rabbi Shimon HaLevi Raichik, Rav of Anash in Los Angeles and Chabad Hancock Park. A special presentation was made to Reb Yankel Ginsburg, the “Zevulun” of the Cheder’s MBP Program, who sponsores the Seforim on a yearly basis, L’iluy Nishmas his father, Reb Dov Reuven ben Dovid HaLevi o.b.m. The Cheder presented Reb Yankel with the new Weiss Edition of the Siddur published by Tzivos Hashem. May17, 2013• 323-965-1544 •

Rabbi Sholom Heidingsfeld, the coordinator of the Mishnayos Be’al Peh program, announced the accomplishments of this year’s MBP, which was followed by awarding the Seforim to the 4 talmidim with the highest accomplishments. After this, every talmid received their prize according to their achievements. After the distribution of prizes, Rabbi Mendel Goldman, member of the board of Cheder Menachem introduced Mr. Frank Menlo to do p’sichas h’aron and begin the procession bringing the Torah to the Cheder Shul. The procession was lead by the Cheder Menachem Marching band, followed by the chupa with the Torah and all assembled escorting the Torah to the Shul, where dancing took place before the Torah was placed in the aron Kodesh by Dr. Zev Rav-Noy. A BBQ buffet catered by MGM Caterers along with a

May 17, 2013 • 323-965-1544 •

moon bounce for the children, was enjoyed by all in honor of this festive day. A special thank you to Mrs. Ruchie Stillman, Rabbi Yossi Burston, R’ Nochum Labkowsky, Rabbi Leibel Cohen, Mr. Sam Kustanovich and the Cheder board for all their help in ensuring the success of the day’s events. Some of the Rabonim and Shluchim who attended include: Rabbi Shimon Raichik, Rav of Anash and Rabbi of Congregation Levi Yitzchok, Rabbi Ezra B. Schochet, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Ohr Elchonon, Rabbi Yosef Shusterman, Rav of Anash and Shliach to Beverly Hills, Rabbi Mendel Schapiro, Mashpiya in Yeshivas Ohr Elchonon, Rabbi Mendel Cohen, Mashpiya in Yeshivas Ohr Elchonon, Rabbi Amram Farkash, Menahel of the Mesivta Ohr Elchonon, as well as Rabbonim and Shluchim from all over Southern California.



The Levitansky family cordially invites you to attend a

Chassidic gathering of warmth and inspiration

Commemorating the 6th Yohrtzeit of our dear father

RABBI AVROHOM hukv LEVITANSKY OB’M Celebrating his lifelong dedication to spreading the light of Chassidus at




1428 17th Street • S. Monica, 90404

Sunday, May 19 • iuhx wh

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FIRST MINYAN FOR MINCHA 5:30 PM Farbrengen led by RABBI EZRA SCHOCHET Rosh Yeshiva - Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad Dinner will be Served For more info or to sponsor this or other events

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Path of Least Resistance? YOSSY GOLDMAN


his week’s Parshah tells the story of a group of men who were unable to bring the Passover offering on its appointed time, and approached Moses with a sincere request: “Why should we lose out?” It so happened that these individuals had been occupied with a good deed--according to some it was nothing less than carrying the remains of Joseph from Egypt en route to his final resting place in Shechem in the Holy Land--and because of their contact with the dead were “ritually impure” and thus unfit to bring the offering. Moses consulted G-d and was told that, in fact, the men were quite right. Henceforth, those who were ritually impure or far away at the time the Passover offering was brought on the 14th of Nissan would be given a second chance exactly one month later on the 14th of Iyar to make good their lost opportunity. There are many important lessons from this law, known as Pesach Sheini (“the Second Passover”), such as “It’s never too late.” There are second chances in life for all of us. Or, that G-d sometimes waits to see if we really want something badly enough to demand it and only then does He give it to us. But now I’d like to share with you an important message I once heard from the former head of the Johannesburg Kollel, the late Rabbi Mordechai Shakovitzky, may he rest in peace. He said that what those men in Moses’ day did was actually quite inspiring. You see, they didn’t really have to come and plead with Moses for a second chance. After all, they had the perfect alibi. 26

They could have simply said, “Sorry, we were busy with another mitzvah.” They were spiritually unable to participate. They had no reason to feel guilty. They couldn’t be faulted. And yet, it did bother them. They felt left out and genuinely desired to be together with their brethren in the observance of another mitzvah, the Passover offering. People who had every opportunity to be free of obligation and willfully choose to actively seek obligation are indeed deserving of honorable mention. It is right that they should be singled out in the Torah for their sincerity and devotion. We’re all very good at making excuses: It’s too cold, too hot, too expensive, too difficult etc, etc... Too many of us take the path of least resistance. Parents arranging a Bar Mitzvah for their son sometimes look for the easy way out. “Can we have it at Minchah, Rabbi? That will be less demanding on our son. He’s very active in the school sports program and won’t have that much time to learn.” Brides and grooms don’t always appreciate the beautiful way of life Judaism can offer our most intimate relationship. “Do we have to attend the classes, Rabbi? Is the Mikvah compulsory?” “The difference between a success and a failure is that a failure makes excuses and a success makes a plan.” Let’s not look for excuses. Don’t opt for the easy way out. Let us learn from the men in the wilderness who could have had every excuse in the book and yet happily chose to look for a new mitzvah and to share in the good deed of their community. May17, 2013• 323-965-1544 •

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The Unveiling of the Raoul

Wallenberg Gold Medal Design O

n Thursday, May 9, 2013, The United States Mint unveiled the design of the Raoul Wallenberg Congressional Gold Medal in the presence of their Majesties, King Carl XVI and Queen Silvia of Sweden. This event was hosted by The Honorable Jacob L. Lew, Secretary of the United States Treasury. The Congressional Gold Medal recognizes the achievements and heroic actions of Wallenberg during the waning days of the Holocaust. Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York, the original sponsor of the Wallenberg Gold Medal Legislation in his opening remarks attributed the efforts of Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group which spearheaded the effort to recognize the heroism of Wallenberg through the creating of the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Commission established in honor of the centennial of Wallenberg’s birth to the driving force behind awarding Raoul Wallenberg with the Congressional Gold Medal. Born in Sweden, Raoul Wallenberg graduated from the University of Michigan and returned to Sweden where he became a businessman and then to give him cover for his rescue efforts became a Swedish diplomat. Wallenberg’s is credited with saving 100,000 lives primarily through the issuance of the schutz-pass, a document that was respected by the German Nazi’s that conferred official Swed28

Wallenberg’ is credited with saving 100,000 lives. ish protection of the bearer which was handed out to desperate Hungarian Jews. Wallenberg also prevented of the liquidation of the Budapest ghetto by threatening the German General that he would be brought up on War crimes if he allowed the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz, a ploy that was successful. At the unveiling ceremony, Secretary Lew stated “the War Refugee Board was commissioned two floors above of where we stand today, here in the Cash room”. The War Refugee Board was critical to the success of saving over 100,000 Jews, especially in Hungary, to escape persecution. It was this board that gave Wallenberg authority to commit to a plan of action that would save the lives of many. The United States Mint worked closely with the Wallenberg Commission, who was dedicated as the liaison

Unveiling of the design of the Raoul Wallenberg Congressional Gold Medal L-R: Ezra Friedlander - CEO The Friedlander Group, Jacob J. Lew - Secretary of the US Treasury, H.M King Carl XVI of Sweden

to the Mint on the design of the medal. As prepared by the U.S. Treasury the medal features, on the heads side, a portrait of Wallenberg depicting him as he is last remembered with the inscriptions: RAOUL WALLENBERG, ACT OF CONGRESS 2012 and HERO OF HEROES. The tails side features Wallenberg presenting the schutz-passes and a view of those bound for a concentration camp. The inscriptions read: HE LIVES ON FOREVER THROUGH THOSE HE SAVED around the upper border and ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE were inspired byPeter Rebenwurzel, Chairman of the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Commission, who is a Hungarianborn child of Holocaust survivors. His father, z”l, worked with Wallenberg to provide food and provisions to residents of the Budapest ghetto, and his father in-law was saved by Wallenberg. Many of the people Wallenberg saved have been influential citizens contributing to American institutions

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and culture, including Congressman Tom Lantos (February 1, 1928-February 11, 2008) and the Liska Rebbe, Rabbi Yoizef ( Joseph) Friedlander, who carried forth the Liska Chassidic dynasty from Hungary to the United States after being saved by Raoul Wallenberg. For more information about the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Commission, please visit For more information: Ezra Friedlander - T: (212) 233-5555 x 101

Congressman Gregory Meeks with the Wallenberg Commission L-R front : Stanley Treitel, Robert Rechnitz, Ezzy Rappaport, Rabbi Ellie Abadie, William Nussen, Ezra Friedlander, Leon Goldenberg, Congressman Gregory Meeks, Allen Gross, Joseph Stamm, Meir Laufer L-R back: Michael Treitel , Eliot Klein, Steve Grauer, Peter Rebenzurzel - Chairman


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or the second year in a row, Meir Panim, Israel’s leading relief organization, hosted a star-studded group of celebrities, led by Irwin Katsof, the Director of ‘America’s Voices in Israel.’’ The group, which included Katie Lowes (‘Greys Anatomy’ y,,‘Scandal’), Adam Shapiro (‘Scandal’), Lana Parilla (‘Once Upon a Time’) Bellamy Young (‘Criminal Minds,’ ‘Scandal’), and Guillermo Diaz (‘Scandal’), visited Meir Panim in a wonderful finish to what has been a whirl-wind, week-long visit across Israel. During the course of their visit, the stars heard about Israel’s recent social “cottage cheese” revolution and about Israel’s working poor, but, despite it all, were amazed to realize what a happy, vibrant country Israel is. “You can see by your expressions how completely engaged you are in this organization,” enthused Lowes. “It’s an honor to be shown this very special part of Israeli societyy.”


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How to Prevent Cavities in our Children BY DR. MICHAEL KLEINMAN


ou may not know it, but dental cavities are the most common childhood disease, with more than half of children affected! Despite this surprising fact, for most children the disease is very preventable. This article hopes to give some helpful educational advice and tips to help you do all you can to prevent dental disease in your child.

gives a large margin of safety. Once a child can reliably spit out toothpaste, the amount placed on the brush is not as critical. The following pictures illustrate the proper toothpaste amounts and proper toothbrushing positioning based on age:

B R U S H I N G W I T H F LU O R I D AT E D TO OT H PA S T E A walk through the oral care aisle in the pharmacy can be very overwhelming with so many products claiming to prevent cavities! However, the best tools are something we are all familiar with, an old fashioned toothbrush and toothpaste. Many scientific studies have shown that the easiest and most effective way to prevent cavities in our children is routine and well-performed brushing with fluoride toothpaste. Covering all sides of the teeth in fluoride toothpaste daily provides a steady defense against the cavity process. For this to be effective, we need to be confident that the brushing is being performed properly. Therefore, we encourage parents to start brushing their children’s teeth as soon as they come in, and continue to help their children until they have the ability to brush well on their own, usually around age 7 or when they can tie their own shoelaces. F LU O R I D E Like any other medicine, fluoride has recommended dosages that allow for the maximum benefit with minimum risk. Too much fluoride may result in a condition called fluorosis, which shows up as a white speckled appearance on the adult teeth. For this reason, different amounts of toothpaste are recommended for different age children to ensure that the optimal dose will always be given. These recommended amounts of toothpaste are calculated with the assumption that all the paste will be swallowed, which is unlikely and 32

Proper toothbrush positioning for an infant May17, 2013• 323-965-1544 •

ful tool these days called “sealants.” These sealants are a liquid plastic material that is flowed into the pits and grooves of teeth then hardened with a blue light. The grooves are then protected from bacteria, thereby preventing the most common form of decay. Sealants are usually only applied to permanent molar teeth, once at age six and again at age twelve. They are checked at each cleaning and reapplied if needed, ensuring constant protection. Since their introduction, sealants have drastically reduced the amount of “pit and fissure” decay. It is important to note that modern sealant materials are BPA free.

Proper toothbrush positioning for an a pre-schooler

T H E C A U S E O F C AV I T I E S Many people think that cavities are caused by sugar, but they really are caused by bacteria! That’s right, cavities are an infectious disease! Babies are not born with cavity causing bacteria, therefore it is important for parents to limit the amount of saliva sharing activities such as spoon sharing during the early months of a child’s life. Parents should also be careful not to place a pacifier in their own mouth to hold or clean it. Once colonized, these bacteria cause cavities by converting sugar into acid, which dissolves the teeth. After each instance of sugar entering the mouth, an acidic “cavity causing” environment lasts for about 30 minutes. DIET With this in mind, another important preventive factor is being careful about sugar in a child’s diet. Frequent encounters with sugary foods or drinks keep the mouth in a “cavity causing” environment for lengthy amounts of time which place the child at much higher risk for cavities. While it’s not realistic or fair to expect sugar to be removed from the diet, we recommend that sugary snacks or drinks only be given with a meal and for a limited amount of time. Cheese, fruits, vegetables, water, and plain milk are excellent between meal snacks that are actually good for the teeth! SEALANTS The most common site for cavities is on the pits and grooves of the teeth; these are called “pit and fissure” cavities. The cavity causing bacteria are able to easily find shelter in these areas and release acid without much difficulty. For many years, the only way to fight these cavities was keeping the grooves clean and using fluoride. Fortunately, dentistry has a much more powerMay 17, 2013 • 323-965-1544 •

TRAUMA Injuries to the mouth and teeth are fairly common in healthy and active children. At first, these injuries can appear very serious and scary, as the mouth has many blood vessels and will swell easily. However, most of these injuries will heal fully and quickly without any intervention from a dentist. There are three instances when immediate treatment is necessary to save the tooth: 1. An adult tooth is knocked out 2. A tooth is very loose due to injury 3. A child cannot bite down fully due to injury If any of the above occur, a dentist should be seen right away and will be happy to accommodate you. Any other tooth injury still warrants a visit to dentist for an evaluation, but can wait until a convenient time. C O N C LU S I O N We hope this guide gives you some helpful information and food for thought. Our main goal is to prevent children (and future adults) from experiencing this disease by education, prevention, and early intervention. A good early foundation associated with positive experiences sets up a child for a lifetime of healthy, fear-free dental care. We are committed to being engaged with the community to achieve this goal, so please let us know how we can help you! Dr. Michael Kleinman practices Pediatric Dentistry in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. He firmly believes that almost all dental disease is avoidable and enjoys teaching parents about what preventative measures should be taken at home, including: proper oral hygiene, diet, and what to do in a dental emergency. He can be reached at, (310) 657-6434, or online at: 33

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Directions Mix the flour, sugar and salt together. Cut in the butter or margarine with a pastry cutter or food processor until evenly distributed. Reserving a cup and a half of the mixture, press the remaining in to a foil-lined 9Ă&#x2014;13 pan. Bake on 350 F for 20 minutes. Mix the oats and brown sugar in to the reserved crumb mixture and set aside. Stir together the flour and sugar, the whisk in the eggs until smooth. Add in the jam, lemon juice and lemon zest and continue whisking until combined. Pour over the crust, and bake for 15 minutes. Then top with the remaining crumbs, and bake another 20 minutes. Let cool and then chill in the refrigerator before cutting. Store in the fridge. Reprinted with permission from

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Can you spot the differences in these two pictures? Students celebrate Yom Yerushalayim at Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov Ohr Eliyahu in Los Angeles. Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov/ Ohr Eliyahu will be gathering on Tuesday, May 21st to celebrate our year of Chai. At this special occasion we will also honor Enoch and Yocheved Kimmelman as Parents of the Year, and Yonah Solaiman Tehrani as our Alumnus Honoree. Buffet Dinner 6:00pm followed the Program at 7:30pm. For more information and to make reservations please contact the YAYOE office at 323.556.6900 or email us at

Please email us your event pictures to



qqq q qqq q qq 1. There are additional yellow leaves in the shoebox display on the left. 2. The word "spelling" is now spelled “speling”. 3. Red poster in the far back is now magenta. 4. Map on the right is missing. 5. There is an extra chair behind the shoebox on the left. 6. A boy now has a watch. 7. Taped paper on the desk is missing. 8. There is now an apple on a desk. 9. On the top left the whiteboard is now grey. 10. The boy now has long curly peyos. 38

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A Time for Dance fall classes! Join the fun this year as we kick off season 9. Amazing classes include ballet, gymnastics, jazz, tap, hip hop, zumba and drama workshop for girls and teens. New Boys Gymnastics and Kickboxing ages 4-15 and Women's Ballet, Modern and more! Check out our schedule at or call 323 404-0827 for more info. -1438-

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You are cordially invited to attend a Chassidic gathering of warmth & inspiration


FARBRENGEN GimmelTammuz In honor of

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Rabbi Yossy Goldman Johannesburg, South Africa Rabbi Yossy Goldman serves as the Senior Minister of Johannesburg’s largest Jewish congregation, Sydenham Highlands North Synagogue, since 1986. Rabbi Yossy Goldman has been living in Johannesburg, South Africa since 1976 when he was sent by the Rebbe as his emissary. He is currently President of the SA Rabbinical association, having served as its dynamic Chairman for 12 years.

A program of: The Menachem Institute Machon Menachem Chabad of the Valley The Finder & Schaeffer Family Centers Farbrengen funded by a grant from The Finder Family Educational Center

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May 17, 2013 • 323-965-1544 •



May17, 2013• 323-965-1544 •


COMING Check out upcoming issues of Community Links for details...


May 17, 2013 • 323-965-1544 •


Community Links Issue 231  

Community Links Magazine Issue 231 May 17th Edition

Community Links Issue 231  

Community Links Magazine Issue 231 May 17th Edition