Jewish Home LA 12-9-21

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The Week In News

DECEMBER 9, 2021 | The Jewish Home




Dear Readers, As we leave the Yom Tov commemorating the miracle of a small amount of oil last for 8 days, and the power of a small army rivalling that of a big one, it’s a good time to reflect on the flexible nature of time. Time can pass in emptiness, devoid of spirit. Or it can be stretched to include in it much accomplishment and G-dliness itself. As we go through the winter and the long nights, it would be good to get inspired to use the time to accomplish projects we had always wanted to. Be they in learning, connections to family or communal. The upcoming months can be a collection of time capsules or form turned into spirit, and great accomplishment. The Lubavitcher Rebbe would often point out that the term devarim b’teilim means that although they may not be devarim assurim, if they are not accomplishing what they should, it is considered wasted time. We can accomplish great things, perhaps even miraculous. All that’s needed is the good faith effort on our part to give it all we got. May this take us right through the coming of Moshiach very soon. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,


T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM

DECEMBER 9, 2021 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

The ‫ שלחן עורך‬writes: If someone talks in Shul, you have a responsibility of "V'goarim Bo"- You must "scream" at him to stop talking. It's your responsibility. Explains Rav Gamliel Hacohen Rabinovich: Since not everyone can be a screamer, the only solution is to remove yourself from the situation and leave that shul! If you stay and continue davening in a shul with talking, then you are being Oiver the Shulchan Aruch every moment that you stay there! We don't need additional Aveiros, Chas V'shalom..

RAV GAMLIEL SAYS - EITHER YOU ARE V'GOARIM BO, OR THE EITZAH IS TO LEAVE THE SHUL!! To see this complete video message from Rav Gamliel, and many other videos, visit


Sarah's The WeekCorner In News


DECEMBER 9, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Are You Feeling Lucky? Sarah Pachter

Below are three stories that further illustrate this concept.

“Are you feeling lucky?” the dealer calls out as he rolls the dice. We often ask ourselves this question in the casino of life, too. But luck may be very different from what we perceive. In his book Eyes Wide Open, Isaac Lipsky shares a fascinating concept about luck and how we perceive it. Isaac became blind at the age of 13, but he believes it was one of the luckiest things that ever happened to him. He describes a scene from a casino: Imagine you are playing at the roulette table and you win big on your final spin! The casino’s owner watches you from above, cursing his loss. “How could I be so unlucky?” he shouts. Such a scene is actually ridiculous. Your winnings, even if they are quite large, don’t have any true bearing on the casino’s financial success. The casino--aka the house--facilitates countless transactions every day. Added together, customers’ bets more than make up for the house’s losses. Therefore, the house wins not due to luck, but because the odds are rigged in its favor. In life, you are already the house, and the game is rigged for you to win. Consider this: “400 million people do not have access to essential health services. 975 million people do not have enough food to lead a healthy lifestyle. Three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. 1.1 billion people lack adequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.” By simply having these things, you already have an edge in life. You are the house. So, you may ask, why do I often feel unlucky? We feel this way when looking at life in one particularly bad moment, or during a challenging time, rather than as a whole. When only considering present troubles, we misunderstand our real luck.1



Lipsky, Isaac, Eyes Wide Open, pg. 160-

FLAT TIRE AND FIRE One morning my husband left early to run an errand before work. While parking, he felt a bump under his car and discovered an iron rod laying on the ground, giving his tire a flat. He drove to the mechanic, expecting to pay for a simple tire change. But apparently, the tire and rim needed to be special ordered, and would take more time for repair. All of this came out to a whopping $2,500. Although frustrated, my husband and I chalked it up to kapara. He came home, and would take my car to get to work. Meanwhile, our teenager was also home sick that morning. While Josh prepared his breakfast, I was upstairs getting ready for the day. I came downstairs twenty minutes later to see my husband and son wiping down a kitchen filled with ash, soot, and powder from the fire extinguisher. They explained that while my son was heating a bagel in the microwave, it randomly combusted. My son had used the microwave as usual, but it randomly broke and a fire started. Had my husband not gotten the flat tire, he would have never been home when the fire started. I didn’t hear any noise from the kitchen, and would not have realized something was happening below. My husband was able to act quickly and extinguish the fire. I shudder to think what could have happened had he not been home. My son didn’t even know where the extinguisher was kept. An unlucky event turned out to be our greatest blessing in preventing a fire--a kapara in the truest sense. HAND OF FATE Rabbi Yoel Gold shares the following incredible story. Erez Shmulian was training to be a paratrooper in the Israeli army. Standing at the door of the airplane 25,000 feet in the air, Erez had no idea this jump would change his life’s trajectory forever. During training, Erez had learned about

a yellow cord called the static line, which connects to the plane and helps open the parachute bag in order for the paratrooper to land safely. By fluke, when Erez jumped, the static cord became entangled with his hand. As Erez fell closer towards the ground, the cord pulled tighter at his hand, until it actually detached from his wrist. Erez told Rabbi Gold, “The parachute opened. I raised my hand up and suddenly I see, wow. I don’t have a hand.” He was brought to the hospital along with his hand, which they somehow found. Thanks to a 14-hour surgery they were able to reattach it, but he never regained full function of his hand. Despite this traumatic event, Erez was able to move forward. He married and had a child, and lived in an area called Har Habracha. In 2001, during the height of the intifada, Erez was driving with his family on the highway. “All of a sudden, three terrorists came out of nowhere and started shooting at us. They were wearing IDF uniforms. We were hit, and injured on our heads. The blood splattered all over the place.” He recalled looking at his family, covered in blood. His wife was already reciting shema. Erez was screaming and crying, unsure of what to do. He wanted to speed away, but there was a car blocking the road. His only choice was to turn around, but the road seemed too narrow. A quick U-turn would save their lives, but turning sharply for any other car would have been an impossibility. Because of Erez’s hand, he had a tool installed on his steering wheel called a spinner knob that helped him maneuver the car. “With Hashem’s help, I managed to make a quick U-turn. With the spinner knob, we escaped as quickly as possible. The first injury in the IDF, the amputation of my hand, is what saved us from the dangerous event in 2001.” Rabbi Gold ended his interview, “As we travel on the road of life, all of us encounter difficult and challenging moments. Sometimes life can feel so unfair. This story reminds us that it is precisely in those moments of stagnation and paralysis that Hashem, who sees the bigger picture,

is looking out for us. What is a tragedy or disappointment today can end up saving a life tomorrow.”2 SEFER TORAH Rabbi Yoel Gold shares another amazing story. Mordechai Fishman was the gabbay for a minyan on Simchat Torah. While dancing, he bumped into another man and the Torah fell to the floor. The man who dropped it turned white and raced out of the room, embarrassed. Everyone was shocked and didn’t know what to do. Mordechai tried to change the mood, “We can’t allow this mistake to ruin the atmosphere of Simchat Torah. We have to get everyone back into it.” However, no one was interested in celebrating anymore. They dragged their feet and hardly clapped. The man who dropped the Torah was distraught outside the sanctuary and refused to return. Someone had the idea to honor the Torah that fell by utilizing it to begin Bereshit. After reciting the bracha, the baal koreh hesitated, starting at the fallen scroll open in front of him. People began to grow uncomfortable and say, “There was a bracha, you need to start right away.” The man motioned for the congregants to approach and look at what he saw. The words bereishit bara were missing from the scroll. Because of this, the Torah that fell wasn’t ever completed. They rolled it up and left the room to show the man who dropped it. When they showed him, he breathed a sigh of relief. They located the owner of the Torah and told him about the missing words. He was shocked at first. Then he remembered, “The sofer explained a custom of leaving a couple of words at the beginning and end for people to write in before the hachnasat Sefer Torah, and suggested we do the same.” But they had forgotten all about this when it came time to dedicate the Torah. Initially, the man who dropped the Torah was devastated. Then he realized that because he dropped it, the Torah actually became complete. So too in our own lives, we are all incomplete. Every time we fall, it is an opportunity for growth. Our imperfections can actually help us to soar. In each of these stories, the initial moment was disastrous. Later, the gift of that moment was revealed. ‘Luck,’ as we know it, doesn’t exist. Each aspect of our lives is directed by the “house”—Hashem. So tell me, are you feeling lucky?


Feature The Week In News

DECEMBER 9, 2021 | The Jewish Home

One Big Kitchen Los Angeles Brings the Jewish Community Together in Helping the Poor Yehudis Litvak

Diverse groups of volunteers gather regularly at One Big Kitchen LA (OBKLA) to prepare strictly kosher meals for the needy members of the Los Angeles Jewish community. With Israeli music playing in the background, the vegetables and meatballs dance into their respective containers as they come through the very efficient assembly line-like arrangement of people, tables, and utensils. Within an hour and a half, 240 meals are prepared, packaged, sealed, and sent off to community organizations, such as Tomchei Shabbos and Global Kindness, that distribute the meals to those in need. OBKLA, currently housed in the Leeder’s catering facilities on La Brea Ave, was brought to Los Angeles by Yossi and Chaya Segelman in August 2020. They based OBKLA on a similar program in Sydney, Australia, pioneered by Rabbi Dr. David and Leah Slavin, that the Segelmans were involved in before their move to Los Angeles. “There is real food insecurity in Los Angeles,” says Yossi. “People are suffering.” Since its opening, OBKLA fed over 10,000 people. The volunteers that come through OBKLA’s doors, especially school

groups, find the experience eye-opening. At the end of each session, the volunteers are asked to take a box of cookies with them and “pay it forward” – give it somebody who would appreciate it and make their day. “It creates a ripple effect,” says Yossi. People start thinking about others, which is the first step in bringing about meaningful changes. The recipients are not the only beneficiaries of this innovative project. All the volunteers feel that they benefit as well. Some come to OBKLA with their families, teaching their children by example to do chessed and contribute to the community. Other volunteers are empty nesters who would like to spend their time helping others. The volunteers, both male and female, span a range of ages, backgrounds, and religious observance. They bridge their differences and meet new friends as they work together on a common goal in an atmosphere of camaraderie and cooperation. “The program is lovely and super-organized,” says Taaly Silberstein, first-time volunteer, who found out about OBKLA through a community chessed chat. “It appeals to so many different ages and people. I feel like I am doing something good

and helpful.” Joni Chroman, a friend of Taaly’s who came with her husband and children, says, “It’s a fun activity as a family.” Her ten year old son, Drew, a student at Heschel Day School, adds, “It’s a great way to perform mitzvot and be in kehillah kedoshah.” Mrs. Chroman’s 22 year old daughter, Lindsay Schacht, also joined the family for this volunteer activity. She had previously volunteered packing food for Tomchei Shabbos, but this was her

first time actually preparing the food that would go straight to the needy. She appreciated the opportunity to participate. Shira Selick, a 6th grader at Hillel Hebrew Academy, celebrated her bas mitzvah at OBKLA. She had participated in a cooking session previously with her family, and she chose OBKLA as her chessed project for her bas mitzvah. Shira’s classmates joined her. “I love baking and cooking, and here I can connect my passions to

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Feature The Week In News

DECEMBER 9, 2021 | The Jewish Home

helping people,” says Shira. Julia Thomas, a 7th grader at Harvard-Westlake School, came to OBKLA with her grandparents, who were visiting from New York. Julia found about OBKLA through her non-Jewish school’s Jewish affinity group. She enjoyed making great food and helping the poor at the same time.

Over 1,500 people have volunteered at OBKLA since its opening. “We build connections through food,” says Yossi. “When people walk in, they don’t know each other. By the time they finish, they’re one mishpacha.” Chaya adds that the volunteers need to work closely together, developing teamwork. She says, “It’s so beautiful when families volunteer together! The example parents give their kids is a practical lesson in chessed.” Chaya finds it inspiring to meet all the volunteers who come through OBKLA’s doors. “Volunteers walk out uplifted,” she says. Yossi adds, “I am truly humbled by the level of enthusiasm [in the Los Angeles Jewish community]. People roll up their sleeves and get to work. The work is physically hard, but it gives us a tremendous amount of energy.” Most volunteers find OBKLA through their active Instagram account, @obklosangeles. Volunteers can sign up online at There is no charge to volunteer, though sponsorship opportunities are available. As OBKLA grows, the Segelmans are planning on moving into their own facility and expanding their hours. “We are looking forward to welcoming the Los Angeles community,” says Yossi.

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The Week In News

DECEMBER 9, 2021 | The Jewish Home

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