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May 8-May 24, 2009

Vol. 5 Issue 130

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Recommends the following Candidates for the May 19, 2009 Special Election: CITY ATTORNEY

JACK WEISS COUNCIL MEMBER - DISTRICT 5

PAUL KORETZ Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss [a former Federal Prosecutor] & Paul Koretz [former CA State Assemblyman, W.H. Mayor and City Councilman] are both familiar with and understand the special needs and unique requirements of Our Community. They have always been accessible and helpful on many issues and concerns related to Our Community.

Member of the Board of Trustees; L.A. Community College District. Office #6 Nancy Pearlman Office #2 Angela J. Reddock STATE PROPOSITIONS Propositions 1A,1C, 1D, 1E - NO Propositions 1B, 1F - YES Our endorsements are independent and are not paid for by candidates or ballot measure sponsors. Paid for by Community Research & Information Center P.O.B. 480454, Los Angeles, CA 90048 - CA ID #882293 Directors - Stanley Treitel & Howard Winkler

PLEASE VOTE ON MAY 19, 2009 (Not Authorized by a City Candidate)


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Features

May 22, 2009

community links • Volume 5 Issue 130

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22 Jewish Educastion 6 Will In Los Angeles Fail? With the closing of a JCC, the cessation of scholarships, the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and the bankruptcies of 100 year old corporations, nothing seems the same..

14

Addicted to Chometz? Once the cravings have died down, you'll be able to ease yourself back into the saddle. How do you regain control? You go cold-turkey for a while. Break the habit and just stop indulging. By Elisha Greenbaum

Robert J. Rome. Ph.D

10

To Believe or Not To Believe I found the work to be spiritually rewarding and was therefore successful in strategically planning publicity tactics and pitching the media. It was then that I realized the obvious: I’ll do better at my job if I truly believe in what I’m selling. By Daniel Ferszt

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Mitzvah-Watch What does "watch mitzvos" mean? If one does a mitzvah, he is surely doing more than watching them. Why then does the Torah tell us to watch the mitzvos in addition to performing them? Parshas Emor Rabbi Mordechai Kaminetzky

4

May 8-May 22

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By Robert J. Rome, Ph.D.

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April 24 - May 8

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T

here was a short note added almost as an afterthought to a page in the Jewish Journal: Valley Cities Jewish Community Center To Close. With that announcement, a 60-year old institution in the San Fernando Valley came to an end. This is just a small piece of the major changes to our community landscape in these bad eco-

nomic times.

The same day as that short article in the Journal, Chrysler, a 100 year old corporation filed for bankruptcy after selling a large portion of the corporation to Fiat. A month ago, Fortunoff ’s in New York, where generations of brides and grooms registered for gifts, shut down forever. Pontiac is gone. The current recession has brought a broad change to the corporate world. The recession has also brought tremendous changes to state and federal governmental budgets. A letter came in the mail from a reputable foundation that gives scholarships within the Jewish community to Jewish students who are college-bound or who wish to spend summers at camps or on travel to Israel. This year, there would be no scholarships. Scholarships can only be given from the profits of the Foundation’s investments, according to the Foundation’s charter. This year, the Foundation reported a loss. Therefore, no scholarships. With the closing of a JCC, the cessation of scholarships, the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and the bankruptcies of 100 year old corporations, nothing seems the same. Yet, despite the changing financial environment and situation, there are institutions in our Jewish community that are functioning as if nothing has changed. Most Jewish day schools have actually increased their tuitions and fees this year. A family with three children may get a bill for tuition and fees of $60,000 in after tax money just for elementary or secondary school tuition. In the considered view of this psychologist, our schools may expect in the not so distant future, a dramatic wake up call. The failure to respond to the changing economic situation may bring outright failure to many schools. Schools simply cannot expect to continue as if nothing is happening. A dramatic drop in enrollment at certain schools will force the remaining families at the schools to pay more. I am personally being asked to pay more for next year for my daughter in a local Jewish high school than I will pay for either of my daughters attending graduate schools. This does not make sense. Can our day schools continue their seemingly irrational fiscal policies where every 150 student school, for example, has two or more principals and a host of administrative staff ? Will families faced with personal bankruptcy choose tuition over rent when faced with challenges? Will schools continue to risk outright failure as they continue most of the same budgetary policies despite the dramatic changes all about?

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Isn’t it time for the community to band together for a solution? There are decisions and directions that could be pursued: 1. The Jewish community should join with the Roman Catholic and other communities with parochial schools to consider efforts toward fighting once again to get school vouchers in California for the poor. If just 5,000 students get vouchers of just $3,000 each, that would be $15,000,000 toward saving and enhancing our Jewish schools. While some argue that $15,000,000 represents a large “gift” of a substantial amount from the state to churches, I would respond that the amount represents a tremendous savings and not expense to the state. Not only does education cost $11,000 or more per student for yearly expenses in California, there are also costs up to $20,000 (or more) spent per student for capital costs for school building and classrooms. $3,000 in vouches versus over $30,000 per student spent for public education: That’s a no brainer.

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2. Vouchers is a program that would take much effort over time to initiate. There are many programs in most states where the state can provide resources to private schools if they so choose or if they

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feel forced by political factors . Many other states provide special education services for private school students. Others provide textbooks and library books for private schools. California provides the least services for private school students of any state. The Jewish community garners political support for all kinds of issues. It seems essential that the life and death of Jewish education deserves the unifying of Jewish political influence behind increased services from the state to our day schools. 3. Those visiting Chicago will notice a billboard-type sign asking every member of the community to give 5% of their future bequest to the Jewish community for Jewish education. Isn’t it time to formulate a similar policy and program in Los Angeles? 4. Detroit, Toronto, and some other cities created community schools some decades ago. Rather than have every synagogue running failing education programs, regional schools in differing geographical areas create opportunities for more effective and efficient schools. If not combining schools, then unifying schools in a system through common curriculum and tools, combined purchasing power, and other shared resources is essential. These are just some initial ideas. There are others. Public schools have school districts. Schools in the Jewish community have no corresponding entity. Unlike the public schools, Jewish day schools do not have combined purchasing power such as for computer program licenses. No one is working on behalf of our schools in the same was as school districts help public schools. Creating a new agency with power to bring services, programs, and resources to our Jewish schools would be most beneficial. Also, could we not work with other religious groups (and even secular programs) that sponsor schools to gain even more cost efficiencies? Waiting until schools fail to react will not benefit us in any way. We need to join together to act now. Jewish education has been key in our Jewish continuity. It is within our schools that we teach our children and teens to become dedicated members of the community. Failure in Jewish education now may bring about failure in the way we promote our Jewish future. So much is at stake. 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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By Daniel Ferszt

Believe ÉÜ Not to Believe

THE POINT

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May 8-May 22

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I

’ve played once before in the complex sandbox of Public Relations. In other words, I used to work in PR back in “the Day” (2000-2005); primarily with entertainers. In hindsight I can say with complete confidence that I disliked 95% percent of them. At the end of my run, I found myself burnt out – to a crisp. I left my desk with the intention of leaving for good. However in 2007, through certain circumstances, I was pulled back to that desk to help raise funds and awareness for two non-profit organizations. One project I had worked on involved a drug counseling center and the other, a preschool. I found the work to be spiritually rewarding and was therefore successful in strategically planning publicity tactics and pitching the media. It was then that I realized the obvious: I’ll do better at my job if I truly believe in what I’m selling. I launched Global Point Public Relations immediately. Now I’m back in the PR business with a whole new song and dance. Over Chol Hamoed Pesach, my professional journey led me to the Brandeis-Bardin University, where I was finally privileged to watch a play I’ve been promoting this past month called “The Quarrel.” I already knew the plot; two friends, having survived the Holocaust, are shocked to meet in a park years later, having believed the other dead. One has become a Rabbi and one has lost his faith. What ensues is an argument over G-d, morality and the past; a Quarrel. But though I knew generally what I was going to see, I found myself deeply moved. Better yet, blown away. The two main characters, Chaim (played by Sam Guncler) and Hirsch (played by Reuven Russel) argue their respective beliefs with ferocity and great depth of sincerity. Chaim is as deeply passionate about his lack of faith as Hirch is in his devotion to G-d. Further, because of their horribly painful experiences and enormous losses during the Holocaust, they both demonstrate every reason to feel the way they do. While the Quarrel is never really settled, the relationship between these two friends comes across as deep, personal and rich with the history that created it. They love each other a great deal despite their anger, and are thankful for the chance to meet again. And though their beliefs are profoundly Glatt different, they share an underlying connection that only they kca chabad kosher council of ventura county and MEATING PLAC understand. Co-writer Rabbi Joseph Telushkin sums up the conejo valley E E TH theme of The Quarrel up perfectly; “Can you love someone The Only Glatt Kosher whose views you can’t stand?” while Sam Guncler advises; Deli • Restaurant • Bakery • Butchershop “See it with someone you hate!” The Quarrel tugged at my personal struggles and when the lights came on and the cast bowed, I noticed that others were affected as well. I appreciate the way the story focused on human relationships as much as it did on our relationship with G-d. As for me, I’m with Hirsch and I am thankful to have worked with such a wonderful production, one that reinforces my desire to work with clients in whom I have faith. I can’t wait to promote The Quarrel when it comes to California again, and I can’t wait to see all you Angelinos there. Daniel Ferszt is President of Global Point Public Relations. He specializes in strategic imaging and media planning for companies and nonprofit organizations. For more information contact (866) 594-GPPR (4777) or email news@globalpointpr.com

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Addicted to Chametz?

Do you get coffee withdrawal headaches on Yom Kippur? Do you feel lonely every time you misplace your mobile phone? Do you find yourself checking your email twenty times a day and compulsively googling the details of new acquaintances? You know you're overdoing it, don't you? But you have no idea how to stop. A good cup of coffee is relaxing, just as a mobile phone is a real time saver. The web is a boon for mankind, and Silicon Valley richly deserves our thanks—but none of these should come at the expense of our self-control. Surely such luxuries were invented for our convenience and pleasure, not as instruments of oppression.

Once the cravings have died down, you'll be able to ease yourself back into the saddle. How do you regain control? You go cold-turkey for a while. Break the habit and just stop indulging. Clear the caffeine out of your system, disconnect the batteries and communicate by snail-mail. It will hurt for a while, you'll find yourself loitering in front of cafes just sniffing the fumes, every time a phone rings your trigger-hand will clutch vainly for your holster and you'll miss the instancy of IM, but you'll be all the better for the experience. After just a few weeks, once the cravings have died down, you'll be able to ease yourself back into the saddle, secure in the knowledge that you've conquered your demons and are now free to enjoy and benefit from the pleasures of life again, this time in moderation. Passover is all about avoidance and self-control. Heaven forbid that a bagel should show up at the seder. Matzah, matzah and only matzah is the bill of fare. We spend weeks tracking down the most minute particle of bread and disposing of it. Forbidden, verboten, totally unacceptable. Just a few weeks later we observe the Second Passover. Originally enacted as a make-up opportunity for those who missed Passover, nowadays we commemorate the day by making sure to indulge in some matzah, but simultaneously we are permitted bread and other chametz on the table. In Chassidic terminology, bread and similar leaven is said to represent a puffed up sense of self worth. Avoiding chametz on Passover is analogous to swearing off arrogance and ego. It's dangerous to overdose on conceit; addictive in the extreme and liable to distract a person from his or her true purpose. So we take the pledge and do whatever we can to eradicate vanity from our system. The Second Passover represents a more mature perspective on life. However there is a time and place for a healthy dose of self-esteem and self-respect. It takes confidence to stand up straight when all others stoop, to follow the path less traveled and maintain feelings for our religion despite the slings of scoffers. The Second Passover represents a more mature perspective on life; having battled our addiction and come out on the other side, we can now afford to gain from our pain and utilize that which was previously forbidden. By serving matzah and bread together on the Second Passover, we demonstrate our success in having overcome our obsessions and cravings, and our new-found ability to sublimate our desires. Now that the addiction has been defeated, we can begin to enjoy and employ the luxuries of life in our service of G-d. By Elisha Greenbaum Rabbi Elisha Greenbaum is spiritual leader of Moorabbin Hebrew Congregation and co-director of L'Chaim Chabad in Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia

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March 27 - April 24

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We are very pleased to announce that the ADMo”R HaRav HaTzaddik

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The Pittsburgher Rebbe, Shlit”a of Ashdod, Israel will be visiting the Los Angeles Community, from

May 10 - 26 The Rebbe Shlit”a will be receiving people for blessings, advice, and private consultation (English/Hebrew/Yiddish) in the Fairfax, Pico-Robertson, and Valley neighborhoods.

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May 8-May 22

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The Pittsburgher Rebbe Coming To Los Angeles

T

he Pittsburgher Rebbe, Shlita, stands at the head of the Pittsburgh Institutions in Ashdod. These institutions include a Cheder with over 400 students, a lower Yeshiva for boys up to 17 years in age, an upper Yeshiva for the older boys, and a Kollel for young married men. The Yeshivas, named Yeshivas Tzidkat Yosef, after the Rebbe's grandfather, are vibrant Yeshivas that not only serve the Ashdod community, but have students who have come from as far away as Los Angeles to learn in a warm Chassidic environment that enhances their advancement in Torah and Yiras Shomayin. The Pittsburgh Chassidic community has been growing constantly. Most of the families live in Ashdod; however, there are Pittsburgher Chasidim in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Beis Chilkiya, London, New York, New Jersey and California. Each Chassid has a unique relationship with the Rebbe Shlit”a, yet all feel that the Rebbe Shlit”a is their loving father. The Chassidim are in constant contact with the Rebbe Shlit”a, asking for his guidance and receiving the Rebbe’s advice and blessing. “Though Evil Men Attacked Me, I Did Not Abandon Your Torah” Due to the recent war in Gaza in which the city of Ashdod was under attack, the Cheder children were dispersed among other Cheders outside of Ashdod, the lower Yeshiva was temporarily relocated to Bnai Brak, and the upper Yeshiva temporarily relocated to Jerusalem. Despite the great expense in relocating the Yeshivas, it was required for the safety of the students, during the three weeks over which the war was fought. The Lower Yeshiva After a rocket exploded 100 meters from the caravans in which the lower Yeshiva is housed, the students were informed that the Yeshiva would move temporarily to Bnai Brak. Speaking among themselves, more than one student noted the importance of Torah learning as a protection for the entire Jewish nation.

The Mashgiach started the first session of the exiled Yeshiva with a fiery talk. He said, "When soldiers are fighting at the front and putting their lives on the line for our safety, we may not waste even a single moment! We must utilize every second to learn Torah. This is our battle!" Although the Yeshiva's hosts in Bnai Brak did everything in their power to make the students feel at home, the transition was not easy. The boys felt displaced, far from their homes and the warmth of their Yeshiva. With great sacrifice, the staff traveled daily from Ashdod, Jerusalem, and Beitar to teach their charges. Bnai Brak is known as a bastion of Torah, but the enthusiasm of the learning drew curious glances from passersby, who were amazed at the concentration of these young refugees. To encourage the students, the staff arranged for them to be tested by one the Gedolei haDor, Rabbi Leib Steinman, Shlit"a. Rabbi Steinman enjoyed the company of the boys for over an hour, taking pleasure in their knowledge of the Gemara. The Rebbe, Shlit"a, who was residing in Jerusalem, was elated to hear of Rabbi Steinman's reaction. He came to visit the young students and was elated to see them poring over their Gemaras with great focus and attentiveness. In his talk, the Rebbe expressed his delight and thanked the staff of the Yeshiva. The Upper Yeshiva A guest entering the temporary Beis Medrash of the upper Yeshiva would see the precious students deeply immersed in their studies, as the rockets and missiles were falling near the Yeshiva in Ashdod. Nonetheless, the Torah was not abandoned, the learning continued with its usual intensity, and the sound of Torah went on, uninterrupted. The upper Yeshiva schedule continued as if there were no war in Israel, as if peace and tranquility reigned. The students were deeply involved with the study of Torah, learning on the same schedule maintained in Ashdod. “The voice

is the voice of Yaakov.” This is the voice of Torah in whose merit the hands of the enemy were rendered powerless. All of the upper Yeshiva classes, including the in-depth morning session, the afternoon Bekius session, and the lessons in Chassidus and Mussar, took place in Jerusalem, as they had in Ashdod. In fact, the Mashgiach of the Yeshiva added a daily talk at the beginning of each day, stressing the importance of learning Torah in protecting the Jewish people from its enemies, especially in these mad days. In response, many of the students added extra hours to their already arduous schedule. The entire staff of the upper Yeshiva gathered on a daily basis, each from his own place of refuge, arriving in the Yeshiva in Jerusalem to instill the students with the values of Torah and the Fear of Heaven, ensuring that the pace of learning would not slacken. The staff added extra incentive programs to strengthen the will of the students and guarantee the successful continuation of the Yeshiva studies. During the upper Yeshiva’s displacement to Jerusalem, we merited being visited by the Rebbe, Shlit”a, who graced us with his presence at some of the lessons and Tefillos, occasionally speaking to the boys, both as a group and individually, providing them with the additional strength needed to carry on in these difficult times. The Rebbe’s visits infused the students with vitality and a holy enthusiasm. It was clear that the spiritual and physical wellbeing of the students was uppermost on the Rebbe’s mind and in his heart. In addition, the overseas students enjoyed spending each of the Shabbosim with the Rebbe, Shlit”a, who invited them for the Shabbos meals. May it be the will of Hashem that just as we continued learning under difficult circumstances, sanctifying His name by growing in Torah and Fear of Heaven in these days, so we should merit to uphold the Torah in tranquility and comfort, and that no longer shall we hear the sounds of pain and sorrow in the Holy Land, until the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our days. •

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Observation does not necessarily mean participation at least in an etymological or grammatical sense. My dealings with Jews who do not keep Torah law have led me to hear one quip, "of course Rabbi, I am an observant Jew. If someone performs a mitzvah in my presence, I observe a mitzvah!" Of course, in our vernacular, when one is called an observant Jew, he does much more than watch! He or she participates in mitzvah performance; watching is not enough. So that is why I was troubled this week, when I noticed a particularly expressive exhortation to mitzvah performance u'shmartem es mitzvosai, v'aseesem osum -- watch the mitzvos and do them" (Leviticus 22:31). What does "watch mitzvos" mean? If one does a mitzvah, he is surely doing more than watching them. Why then does the Torah tell us to watch the mitzvos in addition to performing them? This past winter, in honor of 7 Adar, a day designated to honor the yahrzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu, it was decided to give recognition to the community Chevra Kadisha (burial society). Rabbi Paysach Krohn addressed a large gathering at Brooklyn's Bais HaChaim Chapel. His inspiring talk, (which I highly recommend) concerned the delicate issues of death, dignity, and decorum. He related the following story: (I may have skewed some details and invite my Dutch readers to correct my embellishments!) Rabbi Yehuda Laib Lewis is the Rav of a beautiful kehilla in Amsterdam. As in every kehilla, the community has a Chevra Kadisha which tends to the needs of the dead and dying, insures a dignified burial for the deceased, and helps the mourners through the process of bereavement.

to be buried in the new cemetery. The next day the friends and mourners arrived with the deceased at the cemetery. Shovels in hand, they approached the grave to begin burying the inaugural plot for the deceased. They were shocked to see that the plot had been dug! After burying the man, they found out the true story. Moshe Cohen, a member of the community and a kohen, wanted to participate in the great mitzvah of burying the dead, all his life. However, there are very few limits to the restriction of a kohen coming in contact with a dead person. But when Mr. Cohen heard that there was a new cemetery being consecrated and that there was no one interred in it, he saw the opportunity that he had watched and waited for. And the first one buried in the new cemetery had his grave ready and waiting, dug by none other than Moshe Cohen! The Chasam Sofer reminds us of another time the Torah uses the word watch. The Torah tells us of Yosef's dreams of glory and that his father Yaakov, "watched the incident" Rashi explains that watched means waited in anticipation of fulfillment. The Chasam Sofer explains that the Torah in this week's parsha tells us to do more than perform mitzvos. It tells us to watch for them. It exhorts us to anticipate their fulfillment. It teaches us to wait for the opportunities that arise, ready and able to perform when opportunity knocks! Rabbi Akiva, his body raked by burning iron combs, told his students, "all my life I waited for the mitzvah to give one's soul for the Almighty. I wondered, 'when would it come to my hands so that I may fulfill it?'" The Torah tells us this week, Watch for the mitzvos and then observe them! It is not enough to be a Jewish observer, rather one must be a Jewish anticipator as well! •

Membership is a privilege and only outstanding members of the kehilla are selected. There is one group of people who, no matter how outstanding they are considered in the community, are never asked to serve as part of the Chevra. You see, kohanim (priests) are not allowed to come in contact with a dead body, so burying the dead is one mitzvah that they rarely perform! It so happened that Rabbi Lewis's community purchased a plot of land to consecrate a new cemetery for the kehilla. The kohanim, as well as other members of the community participated in this great mitzvah and designated the first plot that was to be used. Not long after the purchase, a member of the kehilla passed away. He would be the first

18

May 8-May 22

Mitzvah-Watch

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by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

PARSHAS EMOR


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Life is a Picture Postcard...

I was planning to procrastinate, but I never got around to it. Whether you consider the above quotation wise, witty or silly, it can actually be quite a sobering thought. How many of us can truly say we don't put off important things we know we should have done yesterday? Don't you just go green with envy when you meet those super-efficient amazons who are so punctual, organized and always put together? Don't they infuriate you…with yourself ? From my own experience I now know that if something is important I better attend to it immediately, otherwise I simply don't trust myself to "get around to it." I know I could benefit from a Time Management course. In fact, I once signed up for one but I never made it there. No time. There are still so many new ideas, projects and plans I'd like to get around to. I know that with better personal discipline they might actually materialize. You might be surprised to learn that effective time management is not only a professional value but also a religious imperative. This week's Parshah details the Jewish Festivals, in the context of which we read about the Counting of the Omer during the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. Just as the Israelites counted the days after the Exodus in eager anticipation to receive the Torah, so do we count these 49 days annually. But why count time? Time marches on inexorably, whether we take note of it or not. What value is there in counting the days? The answer is that we count these 49 days to make us conscious of the

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Life is a Picture Postcard...

preciousness of every single day. To make us more sensitive to the value of a day, an hour, a moment. As Rabbi Sholom DovBer of Lubavitch once said, "A summer's day and a winter's night is a year."

21

I heard a classic analogy on this theme in the name of the saintly Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan (1838-1933). Life is like a picture postcard, he said. Ever had the experience of being on vacation and sending a picture postcard home or to a friend? We start writing with a large scrawl and then think of new things to say and before we know it we're at the end of the card and there's no more room. So what do we do? We start writing smaller and then when we're out of space we start winding our words around the edges of the card to get it all in. Before we know it, we're turning the card upside down to squeeze in the last few vital words in our message. Sound familiar? Isn't life like that? We start off young and reckless without a worry in the world and as we get older we realize that life is short. So we start cramming and trying to squeeze in all those important things we never got around to. Sometimes our attempts are quite desperate, even pathetic, as we seek to put some meaning into our lives before it's too late. (Maybe that's what a midlife crisis is all about.) So the Torah tells us to count our days – because they are, in fact, numbered. We each have an allotted number of days and years in which to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. Hopefully, by counting time we will appreciate it better. So, whatever it is that is important for each of us to get done, please G d, we will all get around to it. • By Yossy Goldman

May 8-May 22

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22

May 8-May 22

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by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

PARSHAS BEHAR - BECHUKOSAI

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JUDY’S CATERING he Torah does not usually leave room for official

T

questions of faith. It tells us, in no uncertain terms, what our responsibilities are and the commitment we must make to be observant Jews. Every mitzvah entails sacrifice. Sometimes it requires a monetary commitment, sometimes a commitment of time and morals. Not often does it consider the human trials one encounters in mitzvah performance. They are our problem and we must deal with them as human beings and as Jews. Yet this week the Torah uncharacteristically provides leeway for those who may waver in their commitment. In Parshas Behar the Torah charges the Jewish people with the laws of shmittah. Every seventh year, we are told that the land of Israel is to lie fallow. No work is to be done with the earth. There is not to be a harvest, nor may the ground be sown or reaped. Observing shmittah is a true test of faith. Imagine! One must not harvest his grain but instead rely on pure faith for his daily fare. Yet the Torah does not leave us with the austere command. The Torah deals directly with the human emotion related to the issue. In Leviticus 25:20 the Torah foretells a human side. "And if you will say in your heart, 'what shall we eat in the seventh year, behold the land has not been sown nor has it been reaped?'" Hashem reassures the people that His bounty will abound in the sixth year and they will live the seventh year in comfort. This is not the only time the Torah realizes human wariness. In reference to the command of conquering the Land of Canaan, the Torah states in Deuteronomy 7:17: “Perhaps you shall say in your heart, these nations are more numerous than me. How will I drive them out?” Once again Hashem reassures His nation that He will not forsake them. The question is glaring. Why does the Torah answer to human psyche? Why doesn't the Torah just command us to let the land lie fallow, or conquer the Land of Canaan? If there are problems or fears in our hearts, they are our problems. Those fears should not be incorporated as part of the command. Isidore would meet his friend Irving every other week while doing business. "How are you Irving?" Isidore would always ask. "How's the wife and kids?" Irv would always grunt back the perfunctory replies. "Fine." "A little under the weather." "My son Jack got a job."

Irv shrugged. "Sorry, Izzie. I was really selfish. So tell me," he continued, "how is your wife? How are your kids? How is your business?" Izzie let out a sigh of anguish and began to krechts. He put his hand gently on Irv's shoulder, tightened his lips, and shook his head slowly. "Don't ask!" Reb Leible Eiger (1816-1888) explains that there are many questions of faith that we may have. The faithful may in fact fear the fact that there is fear. "Is it a flaw in faith to worry? Am I committing heresy by fearing the enemy? Am I allowed to ask? The Torah tells us in two places, "you will have these questions. You will ask, 'how am I going to sustain myself and family? You will worry, 'how will I conquer my enemies? 'Will I be destroyed?” The Torah reassures us that there is no lack of trust by asking those questions. We mustn't get down on ourselves and consider questions a breach of faith. Life and sustenance are mortal attributes. They warrant mortal fear. Adam, the first man was originally blessed with eternal life without having to worry for his livelihood. After sinning, he was cursed with death and was told that he would eat by the sweat of his brow. The Torah assures us that it is not only human but also acceptable to worry about these two issues -one's livelihood and survival, as long as we believe in the reassurances about those worries. •

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This one sided interrogation went on for years until one day Isidore exploded. "Irv," he said abruptly. "I don't understand. For six years I ask you about your wife, your kids, and your business. Not once mind you, not once did you ever ask me about my wife, my kids, or my business!

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Lag BaOmer Traditions and Customs • It is traditional to light bonfires on Lag BaOmer eve. These commemorate the immense light that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai introduced into the world via his mystical teachings. This was especially true on the day of his passing, Lag BaOmer, when he revealed to his disciples secrets of the Torah, whose profundity and intensity the world had yet to experience. The Zohar relates that the house was filled with fire and intense light, to the point that the assembled could not approach or even look at Rabbi Shimon. By far, the largest Lag BaOmer celebration takes place in and around Rabbi Shimon's tomb, located in the Northern Israeli village of Meron. Hundreds of thousands attend the festivities, and the round-the-clock celebration, singing and dancing are unparalleled. • Children customarily go out into the fields and play with imitation bows and arrows. This commemorates the midrashic tradition that no rainbow was seen during Rabbi Shimon's lifetime. Rainbows first appeared after Noah's flood, when G d promised to never again devastate the world. When the world is deserving of punishment, G d sends a rainbow instead. Rabbi Shimon's merit protected the world, rendering the rainbow superfluous. • The Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged the practice of arranging children's parades on Lag BaOmer in celebration of Jewish unity—a major Lag BaOmer theme. • In some circles it is customary to eat carobs on Lag BaOmer. This commemorates a lifesaving miracle that Rabbi Shimon experienced. For a period of thirteen years, Rabbi Shimon and his son were fugitives from the Roman regime, in hiding in a cave in Northern Israel. Miraculously a carob tree grew at the entrance of the cave, providing nourishments for its two holy occupants.

By Naftali Silberberg

26

March 27 - April 24

• All the Omer mourning practices are suspended on Lag BaOmer. Permitted are weddings, haircuts, music, etc.

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May 8-May 22

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May 8-May 22

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34

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REAL ESTATES OPPORTUNITIES

Spacious 2/3 bedroom, Two Bathroom, Duplex for rent centrally located in the heart of Pico Robertson area. Hardwood Floors, Kosher Kitchen with Dishwasher and Fridge. Full Laundry- washer, dryer & Storage. Very close to Shuls, Shops & Restaurants, and public transport on Pico. Two car garage. Bedrooms with nice size closets, fireplace in living room. Please call Daniel 310-735-3310.

1) On Bedford street located between Whitworth and Olympic Blvd . Unit mix is 2 three bedrooms and 2 two bedrooms. 2) On Oakhurst located between Pico and Whitworth. Unit mix is 4 two bedroom over 1000 square feet each unit size. 3) Storage & Office spaces available for rent for very reasonable prices. 4) We have a few pocket listing of gas station with convenient stores. 5) We have Apartement/Condo forclosures in Wilshire corridor and Beverly Hills. 6) We have two excellent Mini Shopping center with a cap over 7.

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Guest House (Hankock Park) Furnished, 1 bedroom, full kosher kitchen, walking distance to shuls, independent entrance Shabbos, Weekly, Monthly, etc. Please call Kayla 323-934-2380 •••

Apartment Available in the Pico Area: Remodeled 3 Bedroom 2 Bath Apartment available on the first floor of a 6 unit building. Hardwood floors, garbage disposal, diswasher and stove included. Laundry room on premises. Walking distance to Shuls, Shopping, and Restaurants. Public transportation close and near the 10 and 405 freeways. Please call Nana at (310)621-1819 to make an appointment to view the unit. •••

Exquisite Studio Apartment / Office - with Kitchenette. Brand New A/C & Appliances. Fully tiled full Bathroom. Private Entrance. Totally Detached. Utilities incl. Centrally located in the Heart of the La Brea/Beverly Area- Walking distance from Shuls & Kosher Stores, Ideal For some-1434 one single and frum. Please call: 323-708-5122 •••

Looking for someone to take over my apartment - studio with kitchen for July and August. Please call 917-873-0026

Office Space Want to rent an office but can't afford the whole room? Rent a cubicle in our office!!! Clean, casual business environment, no limitations on schedule - come in and out any time, All utilities are paid, no worry no hassle. Convenient location on W. 3rd & La Cienega. Come take a look or any questions please call 310-285-0200. The office: $350/mo. Want to rent whole room $950/mo E- mail: Interconnectcare@yahoo.com -1444-

For further information contact Daniel Dayani, Realtor Associate at 310-279-2991 REAL ESTATE FOR SALE SALE PENDING:

Bev. Hills, N. of Wilshire: Newly built 4300 sq ft. Recorded Info 1-800-417-7489 ID# 7005. www.BeverlyHillsInfo.net Bev Hills, 462 S. Swall: Sale /Lease: 2 story+ Guest House. Recorded Info 1-800-417-7489 ID# 8005. www.BevHillsHome.com COMING SOON Prime Hancock Park: 5000+sq ft, pool. La Brea, So. of Beverly: Lovely 4 bdrm, Pool, Guest House. DISTRESS SALE/Foreclosures. Free hotlist. Recorded Info. 1-800-417-7489 ID#7042 For More Info call Margalit (310) 210-3038, Marjorie@MillerRealEstateSales.com -1456-

SUMMER RENTAL 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment available for rent for the month of July. Pico Robertson area. A/C &Washer/Dryer. included. Please call 310-926-5684

NEW KEHILLA The Tehachapi Torah Center Presents 'The Recent Complex Creation' Torah/ Science Reconciliation, available on Amazon or www.pearlmancta.com/TheComplexCreation...htm. The Tehachapi Torah Centered Community is suited for families, individuals, and existing Torah organizations. Healthy, Serene, Affordable, Child Friendly. Tehachapi Ca. 93561, 90 miles/minutes from route 14 at 5. Twice the Home for Half the Money. Homes Priced from $90k, Lots 30k. Lease Apartments from $450, Houses $800. Learn More! Contact Roger M. Kernkehilla@att.net or call 310-948-5137 www.pearlmancta.com/kerncountykehilla.htm

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EMPLOYMENT

SERVICES A Perfect Setting Great gifts for all occasions- invited out for a Shabbos meal? We have the perfect gift. Just come in and we will take care of the baby gifts you've been meaning to give....the Bas Mitzvah girl you can't possibly figure out what would be right for her...the couple you're embarresed to greet ...its been soooo long since their wedding....the house warming gift for your friend who just moved into a new home...don't put it off..come in today and go out relieved. Call for a special appointment 323-938-8222 or 323-620-3618 ask for Rochel. -692-

Dress Maker Channa Tellis Dress Maker & Expert Alterations with 40 yrs of experience, also available for Sewing Classes. Please Call 323-933-5960 or 323-348-8786

Graphic Design LH DESIGN & PRINTING You name it we design it! Business Cards, Postcards, Posters, Flyers, Stickers, CD/DVD Covers, Websites, Wedding and Bar/Bat Mitzvah Invitations, Scrapbook Albums, Digital Books, Tshirts, & More... Please Call: 818-802-2625 Email:Lmrhmr1@aol.com

Home Care Agency AAA InterConnectCare, Inc. Home care Agency Licensed, Insured, Bonded since 1993 CNA, CHHA, Caregivers, Companions in your home. Full insurance coverege and all payroll services for our employee. Long term Care, Workers Comp insurances accepted Russin, Polish, Hungerian, Yidish and more 310-285-0200 8600 W. 3rd str, LA, Ca 90048. Conveniently located right across from Cedar Sinai Hospital

Music MusicbyMendel.com. Weddings, Bar-Mitzvahs, Special Occasions. Contact now for availability and rates 310-595-5490 mendels@gmail.com

Musical Production A TIME FOR DANCE fifth annual production of "THE WIZARD OF OZ" -June 7, 2009, 3:00 pm at Horace Mann Theater 8701 Charleville Blvd. Beverly Hills. Performance will include special ceremony to honor 5 year students of our company! Women $18/ Girls $15 discount with advance purchase. Last year's show was a sell out, so get your tickets fast! (323) 404-0827.

Newborn Night Nanny 0-3 months. Experienced with references. Call Shana 310-858-3042

Notary

POSITIONS WANTED Babysitter available Orthodox woman available to watch your children full time or part time hours, at your location. Excellent references. call: 323-651-9389. Baby-sitting Orthodox, female college student looking for part-time baby-sitting job. I am responsible, have a car and great references. Please call Raizel: 310-936-8978 Experienced aide for Special Needs students Orthodox, female college student looking for part-time position working with special needs student in a classroom setting. Excellent references. Call Raizel: 310-936-8978 Secretary Nice, reliable & hard working Shomer Shabbos lady seeking secretarial/office position. I live in the S- Clarita area so preferably in the valley however I can also work at home. I have a laptop computer and have experience in the following: Phones, fundraising, computer and internet, typing and word processing, letter composition, faxing, and all general office duties. Let me make your business shine! You can contact Devorah at 661-808-4871

POSITIONS AVAILABLE Educational Aid Looking for an education aide who is warm, responsible, to work in a Jewish day school in North Hollywood for an 9 year old boy. Special education experience preferred and or teaching experience. 8:30 am-2:30 pm. Please call 818776-9552 ••• We need an educational aide for our 20 year old son with special needs who is attending Valley College part time. Patient, reliable male, legally able to work in the U.S. Training and ongoing support will be provided. Please call 818-424-4612 Volunteer Seeking woman volunteer for Secretarial / computer work for non profit organization helping to feed hungry in Israel. If interested please contact Dorit at 818- 355-3789

Traveling Notary Yosef Y. Shagalov: Traveling Notary Public & Home Signing Agent. Cell:(323)934-7095 email: yys770@aol.com

Translation & Interpreting (Hebrew>English>Hebrew) Professional Translation (Written) and Interpreting (Verbal) Services Business ‫ ٭‬Legal ‫ ٭‬Medical ‫ ٭‬Technical ‫ ٭‬Certificates * Consulting and Escorting Business Persons &Visitors. Zion Avdi - 310-402-3778Email:zion@hebrewtranslation.com Web: ww.hebrewtranslation.com

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Wigs Headlines / European Wigs • Wash & Set • Hair Accessories • Jewelry • Ear Piercing. Call Chaya Suri @ 323-930-1389

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DRAWING MOTZEI SHABBOS PARSHAS BEHARBECHUKOSAI MAY 16, 2009  10PM: Hotline numbers: Livestream: Listen Live: 646-519-5860 www.oorah.org KKLA 99.5 FM 646-519-5800 pin 0653

DEADLINE! LAG BA’OMER


Community Links Issue 130