Dec. 23, 2011 Miketz

S.T.A.R. News & Events

Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:


December 25th:

STAR kid’s Chanukah party!!!

Join the STAR Gang as we journey back in time at Golf and Stuff. Unlimited games and rides for all, plus a special Chanukah presentation followed by Chanukah gifts!!!

January 6th-8th

STAR Teens will occupy Big Bear on this amazing retreat. A 3 day luxurious stay at a 5 STAR hotel accompanied by great food lots of crazy fun, skiing, snow boarding and much more.

January 15th:

Disneyland

Let”s go to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland!!! To top it all off, you will be with the happiest people on earth, the STAR Group!

 


This Shabbat

Shabbat Parashat: Miketz

Candle Lighting: 4:31pm
Shabbat Ends: 5:30pm


Torah Message

Do You Want To Hear A Good Story?

"Seven years of famine…" (41:27)

If you examine most classic Torah insights, they often start with an anomaly in a verse, be it in the spelling, the grammar, or the sequence of the words, and based on this anomaly the writer will draw a homiletic interpretation. And then he will write, "To what may this be compared?", and finish with a parable to illustrate the point.

I have had the merit, thank G-d, to write these insights on the weekly Torah reading for nearly twenty years. Early on in my career I made a discovery that I would like to share with you.

My feeling is that nowadays many readers are resistant to inferences based on textual anomaly–but everyone wants to hear a good story. So very simply, I reversed the classic structure, starting with the story and finishing with the textual analysis.

The great spiritual master Rava would always begin a deep Torah discourse by telling a joke. Why? As soon as the yetzer hara notices someone getting up to speak divrei Torah, it sends a powerful sedative to the brain.

Rava knew that to grab the attention of his listeners he would have to outflank the yetzer hara.

You can’t get people to listen to you unless you can first grab their attention.

My intention was the same as Rava’s, the same as any teacher – to grab the attention of the audience before they hit the delete button.

So having told you the story, here’s the anomaly:

In this week’s Torah portion, when Yosef interprets Pharaoh’s dream, he starts off by first telling him about the seven years of famine. Chronologically, the seven years of plenty came first.

Why didn’t Yosef start be talking about them?

In a country as prosperous as Egypt, talking about seven years of plenty would have been about as interesting as watching wallpaper. Yosef deliberately started with the years of famine because he knew that such a cataclysmic disaster would be sure to make Pharaoh sit up and take notice of his advice.

In communicating your ideas to people, you must first gain their attention. Without that, the best arguments will fall on deaf ears.

  • Source: Ramban

Rabbi M. Weiss                                                  Rabbi Y. Sakhai


Community News

Em Habanim Congregation

Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com

Sephardic Temple:

Talmud Torah and Youth Havadalah and Movie Nite will return in January after the completion of the remodel of the new Alcana Youth Lounge. Watch for upcoming dates and info!




Get Well Soon

We wish a speedy recovery for all the Jews that may need it where ever they may be and especially for:

Em Habanim:

Max Barchichat From Sephardic Temple: Al Azus,Buena Angel,
Elaine Leon,Itzchak Rachmanony

From S.T.A.R.:


Mordechai Chaim Ben Chana, Chaim Ben Buena,
Meshulam Dov Ben Chana Sarah
Bracha Eliza Bat Ehteram, Bracha Sara Chaya Bat Ronit


View Past Issues

Read More

December 17, 2011 Vayeshev

S.T.A.R. News & Events

Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:


December 25th:

STAR kid’s Chanukah party!!!

Join the STAR Gang as we journey back in time at Golf and Stuff. Unlimited games and rides for all, plus a special Chanukah presentation followed by Chanukah gifts!!!

January 6th-8th

STAR Teens will occupy Big Bear on this amazing retreat. A 3 day luxurious stay at a 5 STAR hotel accompanied by great food lots of crazy fun, skiing, snow boarding and much more.

January 15th:

Disneyland

Let”s go to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland!!! To top it all off, you will be with the happiest people on earth, the STAR Group!

 


 

 

This Shabbat

Shabbat Parashat: Vayeshev

Candle Lighting: 4:28pm
Shabbat Ends: 5:27pm


Torah Message

Master Of War

(Yosef said to the Chamberlain of the Cupbearers) "If only you would think of me… and mention me to Pharaoh, then you would get me out of this building." (40:14)

Something very strange happens on the twenty-fifth of the Hebrew month of Kislev. Two completely different festivals are observed.

One festival celebrates a military triumph by a small group of partisans who manage by their own bravery to overcome vastly superior forces and restore Jewish statehood to the Land of Israel. The other commemorates a supernatural victory against powers of darkness that wished to adulterate the Jewish People and their Holy Torah.

The bizarre thing is that both these festivals have the same name.

They are both called Chanuka.

The secular version of the Chanuka story makes Mattityahu and Yehuda Hamaccabee sound like characters out of a war movie. True, there’s a seven-branched candelabra somewhere there at the back of the set, but Chanuka is really a nationalistic shoot-em-up where the good guys win and the bad guys lose and, well, G-d got written out of the plot at the first script meeting.

The other version of Chanuka focuses on the supernatural events that surround Chanuka. The miracle of the oil lasting eight days; of a small minority who manage to hold on to their Judaism against the blandishments of materialism and hedonism. True, there’s a military victory somewhere in there, but it’s a miraculous victory against impossible odds, a victory which is no more than the revelation of G-d’s providential Hand.

There’s a fine line between faith and folly. There’s an equally fine line between thinking that the Jewish People win wars because we have the best tanks and planes and the best training.

In 1967, the Six Day War opened with a blistering attack on the Egyptian airfields by the Israeli air force. The Israeli air force managed to knock out some 90% of the Egyptian planes while they were still on the ground. Now, 90% is an interesting statistic – because it can’t happen. Warplanes bombing a tiny ground target under fire can achieve 40%, maybe 50%. But 90% doesn’t happen.

After the Six Day War ended, you couldn’t buy a pair of tefillin in the whole of Israel. There were appeals in the United Statesfor anyone who had a spare pair to send them to Israel. The Jewish People realized that G-d had given them a miraculous victory against five Arab armies on four fronts, and the upswell in the observance of Judaism was remarkable. Equally remarkable – and predictable – was the short-lived nature of this awakening. Nothing much had changed in three thousand years, and just as the Jewish People were capable of cavorting around a golden calf a few weeks after they had witnessed the splitting of the sea and all the miracles in Egypt, so too the Jewish People very soon forgot Who it was Who fights our wars, and were busy bragging about the invincible Israeli army.

So, as it were, to give us a little reminder of Who’s really running things, some four years later, the Arabs attack again. This time they manage to make deep inroads into the heartland of the country. But the Arabs make a fatal mistake. They think that they will attack on Yom Kippur when everyone is fasting and weak.

They forget two things. One strategic and the other supernatural. Strategically, the most difficult thing about starting a war without a large standing army is to mobilize. The major problem is to find everyone. However, on Yom Kippur you can find everyone because almost everyone is in shul. So all you have to do is to take a truck drive from shul to shul and call out the names at the back. Also, the roads are empty so you can mobilize your army in about half the time it would normally take. Secondly, the Arabs forget to read their history books. If they’d paid closer attention, they’d have realized that, traditionally, the Jewish People always used to fast before going into battle to purify themselves before G-d. And even in the secular State of Israel, anyone with the remotest connection to his Judaism is davening his heart out in shul and the angels are taking his prayers upstairs to the King of Kings. Not a good day to attack really.

Again the same thing happens. A realization of a miraculous miracle followed by a return to "with my own power and the strength of my own hand" way of thinking.

So next time, G-d, as it were, says, "So you think it’s your army that’s winning these wars? I’ll tell you what. Next time, your army will sit on its benches, and I will send the largest and most powerful navy in the world steaming half way around the world, and your army and your navy and your air force will do absolutely zero."

And that’s exactly what happened in the Gulf War. I remember sitting in a taxi at the time, and this totally secular taxi driver was quoting me a verse. I think it was from the prophet Yishayahu. All about how G-d will tell us to go into a sealed room for a little while until the danger passes. "Who is like your people Israel?! One nation in the land!" Even the taxi drivers quote you the Prophets!

I also remember when the day the Gulf War ended. It “just happened” to be Purim. I went into my own sealed room and I ripped the plastic off the window and threw the window open wide to let in the sweet air of freedom wafting in the holy city of Jerusalem.

If I live to a hundred and twenty I don’t think I’ll ever have a Purim like that one.

And now, that same holy air is filled with the sounds of jihad, and not-so-distant guns, and the shrill threats of another Haman, and the promise of weapons that should keep us awake at night.

Isn’t the message that G-d is sending us clear enough?

"If only you would think of Me… and mention Me to Pharaoh, then you would get me out of this building."

In this week’s Torah portion Yosef asks the Chamberlain of the Cupbearers twice to intercede on his behalf to Pharaoh. By his lack of trust in G-d, by asking the Chamberlain twice, Yosef languished two further years in jail.

Rabbi Chaim of Brisk once asked Rabbi Shimon Shkop how long Yosef would have been kept in prison if he had asked the Chamberlain only one time to help secure his release.

Rabbi Shimon replied that if Yosef had asked only once, he would have spent only one year in prison.

Rabbi Chaim disagreed. "He wouldn’t have had to spend any more time in prison at all. To try to secure his release by asking once is considered to be hishtadlut – the human effort that G-d expects of each of us. To ask twice showed a lack of trust in G-d. So it would have been two years or nothing."

The Jewish People are faced yet again with the threat of war. Again there are those who rise, as they do in every generation, wishing to annihilate us. If we must fight we must fight with everything we have. With our bodies. With our minds. But mostly we must fight that little voice inside us that tells us that we ourselves are doing all this. The greatest fight is the fight to remember that whatever we do, there is only one Master of War.

 

Rabbi M. Weiss                                                  Rabbi Y. Sakhai


Community News

Em Habanim Congregation

Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com


Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed for mitzvot ofHessed including Bikur Holim . Pleasecall the office (818) 762-7779 to inform of your availability. Thank you


Sephardic Temple:

Talmud Torah and Youth Havadalah and Movie Nite will return in January after the completion of the remodel of the new Alcana Youth Lounge. Watch for upcoming dates and info!

*********

Saturday, December 17, 2011 Shabbat Lunch and Learn "Funny, You Don’t Look Jewish: Jews from Exotic Places." Levy Hall – Immediately following Shabbat services $15 members $20 non-members RSVP to (310)475-7000 or
melissa@sephardictemple.org



Get Well Soon

We wish a speedy recovery for all the Jews that may need it where ever they may be and especially for:

Em Habanim:

Max Barchichat From Sephardic Temple: Al Azus,Buena Angel,
Elaine Leon,Itzchak Rachmanony

From S.T.A.R.:


Mordechai Chaim Ben Chana, Chaim Ben Buena,
Meshulam Dov Ben Chana Sarah
Bracha Eliza Bat Ehteram, Bracha Sara Chaya Bat Ronit


View Past Issues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

December 2 2011, Vayetze

S.T.A.R. News & Events

Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:


December 25th:

STAR kid’s Chanukah party!!!

Join the STAR Gang as we journey back in time at Golf and Stuff. Unlimited games and rides for all, plus a special Chanukah presentation followed by Chanukah gifts!!!

January 6th-8th

STAR Teens will occupy Big Bear on this amazing retreat. A 3 day luxurious stay at a 5 STAR hotel accompanied by great food lots of crazy fun, skiing, snow boarding and much more.

January 15th:

Disneyland

Let”s go to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland!!! To top it all off, you will be with the happiest people on earth, the STAR Group!



 

This Shabbat

 

Shabbat Parashat: Vayetze

Candle Lighting: 4:25pm
Shabbat Ends: 5:29pm


Torah Message

 

Waiting To Rust

"Then Rachel and Leah replied and said to him, ‘Have we then still a share and an inheritance in our father’s house? Are we not considered as strangers… so whatever G-d has said to you, do’. " (31:14-16)

There’s a widespread misunderstanding about why people are religious. It runs something like this. Okay. I’m prepared to sacrifice something of my pleasure in this world so that I can get a piece of the action in the next. I don’t mind refraining from the occasional BLT or Macdonald’s because I believe the Big Macs are bigger on the other side.

Even those of us who like to think of ourselves as religious, if questioned, would probably subscribe to this line of thinking.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

A person should feel that he is giving nothing up of this world, because this world has nothing to give him.

Let me give you an example.

Tuesday morning. You finally get the call. You’ve waited for two full months. And now it’s here. Your champagne-metallic luxury turbodeisel 4×4 has arrived at the car dealer. Your heartbeat leaps to 120 beats a minute. Your mouth dries up. You jump into the nearest taxi and sit there lost in the glow of expectation. You arrive at the showroom. The car dealer hands you the keys. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. You slide behind the wheel. The smell of leather and "new car" is more potent than the latest Parisperfume. You turn the key and the engine purrs into life. You ease the car out of the parking lot and cruise down the main drag of the city real slow.

Riding a wild set of wheels at an easy pace.

Phew!

A couple of months later, you’ve already scratched the champagne metallic paint in more than a few places, and the front fender shows the battle scars of a shopping expedition to the mall.

Why can’t new cars stay new? What happens to that smell of ‘new-car’? Does the factory send out a fragrance recall on it? More. What happens to the feeling of new car? Why does it always turn into a gas-guzzling insurance-eating rusting heap?

Nothing in this world that is solely of this world brings you real happiness.

Compare this to the feeling that comes from praying, even with a little bit of concentration. Most of us, at some time or another, have had this beautiful experience. And that feeling is second only to the feeling of learning Torah. That’s the most exquisite experience in the world. And it’s a genuine pleasure that stays with you. Not like this week’s new purchase that fills you with pride and desire and then comes to collect from you a heavy debt, both physically and spiritually.

"Then Rachel and Leah replied and said to him, ‘Have we then still a share and an inheritance in our father’s house? Are we not considered as strangers? …So whatever G-d has said to you – do!’ "

You could very easily misunderstand what Rachel and Leah meant by the above statement. You could think that the only reason they were agreeing to leave their father’s house was because there was nothing for them there anyway, that they were considered as strangers.

What Rachel and Leah were really saying was that leaving their father’s house was in no way a sacrifice, for nothing in Lavan’s house held any real value for them. “So whatever G-d has said to you – do!”

Life’s true pleasure is to be close to G-d, everything else is like a heap of steel waiting to rust.

  • Source: Based on Lev Eliyahu


Rabbi M. Weiss                                                  Rabbi Y. Sakhai


Community News

 

Em Habanim Congregation

Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com


Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed for mitzvot ofHessed including Bikur Holim . Pleasecall the office (818) 762-7779 to inform of your availability. Thank you


Sephardic Temple:

Talmud Torah and Youth Havadalah and Movie Nite will return in January after the completion of the remodel of the new Alcana Youth Lounge. Watch for upcoming dates and info!

*********

Saturday, December 17, 2011 Shabbat Lunch and Learn "Funny, You Don’t Look Jewish: Jews from Exotic Places." Levy Hall – Immediately following Shabbat services $15 members $20 non-members RSVP to (310)475-7000 or
melissa@sephardictemple.org



Get Well Soon

 

We wish a speedy recovery for all the Jews that may need it where ever they may be and especially for:

Em Habanim:

Max Barchichat From Sephardic Temple: Al Azus,Buena Angel,
Elaine Leon,Itzchak Rachmanony

From S.T.A.R.:


Mordechai Chaim Ben Chana, Chaim Ben Buena,
Meshulam Dov Ben Chana Sarah
Bracha Eliza Bat Ehteram, Bracha Sara Chaya Bat Ronit


View Past Issues

 

Read More

November 25, 2011 Toldot

S.T.A.R. News & Events

Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:


December 25th:

STAR kid’s Chanukah party!!!

Join the STAR Gang as we journey back in time at Golf and Stuff. Unlimited games and rides for all, plus a special Chanukah presentation followed by Chanukah gifts!!!

January 15th:

Disneyland

Let”s go to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland!!! To top it all off, you will be with the happiest people on earth, the STAR Group!


 

This Shabbat

 

Shabbat Parashat: Toldot

Candle Lighting: 4:26pm
Shabbat Ends: 5:30pm


Torah Message

 

Masquerade

“Two nations are in your womb; two regimes… The might shall pass from one regime to the other, and the elder shall serve the younger.” (Bereishet 25:23)

I have a picture in my mind of the Olympic games at Nuremberg in 1936. Adolf Hitler (may his name be erased) is at the top of what seems to be an interminable staircase, the grandstand stretching down behind him. His arm is held out in a halfhearted version of the salute he stole from the Romans.

The Nazis stole quite a few things from the Romans. The symbol of the eagle. The lust for empire and an implacable cruelty in achieving it. And the love of pomp and pageantry.

The Romans, however, had a ceremony that beat the Nazis hands down. The Talmud describes the following scene: Once every seventy years in Rome, they would take a man and place him on the back of a lame man. They dressed him in the clothes of Adam HaRishon, the first man (their possession of these clothes dated back to their common ancestor, Esav). Stretched across his face was the mummified flesh of the face of Rabbi Yishmael. (Rabbi Yishmael the Kohen Gadol was one of the ten martyrs whose memory we commemorate in the Yom Kippur Mussaf service. After he was murdered, they flayed his skin from his skull and preserved it in aspic.) Around the man’s neck they hung pieces of gold. In this manner, they would parade him through markets whose streets were paved with onyx and proclaim, "Sach quiri pilaster – The calculation of the end was a fraud… What use was the trickery of the trickster and the fraud of the defrauder [Yaakov]?" They would finish off by saying, "Woe to this one [the one on top] when this one [the lame man] will rise up."

The relationship of Esav and Yaakov, twins from birth, is symbiotic. When one is up, the other is down. It cannot be that both are up or down, because the cause of one being down is the cause of the other being up – like two ends of a seesaw.

In the Yom Kippur service of the Beit HaMikdash, we find another symbiotic relationship. There was a lottery with two identical goats. One goat was sent to its death in the desert. It represented the negative drive, the embodiment of Esav. The other goat was offered on the Holy Altar. This goat represented the Jewish people and their willingness to sacrifice themselves for G-d.

A lottery by its very essence means that this makes the other that; the one going to Azazel – to the desert – causes the other one to end up on the Mizbe’ach and vice versa. It’s a symbiotic relationship. A seesaw. Two sides of the same coin. Positive and negative.

When the twins were born, Yaakov was found clutching the heel of Esav. For most of history, the jackboot of Esav’s heel has been on the hand of Yaakov. The word Yaakov is connected to the word for "heel," ekev. The heel is the lowest part of the body. We are living now in the "heel" of time, when events are drawing to their final climax. But Yaakov still seems to be shlepping along through the annals of world history like a lame man. We seem to be the "fossils of history," as Arnold Toynbee called the Jewish people. And Esav is still "high".

Esav was the progenitor of the Roman nation. When the Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, that faith became the state religion of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire spawned the "Holy Roman Empire". And subsequently, the spiritual mantle of the Holy Roman Empire was assumed by the Catholic Church in the West and the Orthodox Church in the East. These scions are the direct inheritors of the legacy of Rome– and of Esav.

Every believing Christian has it as an article of faith that G-d gave the Torah to the Jews at Sinai. Without that, Christianity doesn’t get off the ground. But they have a "new" testament, while the Jewish people are left with the "old" testament. In other words, Rome sees us shlepping along like the lame man of history, while Christianity rides theologically on the back of Judaism.

The religion of Rome wears the mask of Judaism; it takes the visage, the flayed skin of the high priest, and puts it on itself and claims to be the "real thing". But their relationship with G-d is only skin deep. It is, in the most literal sense, a masquerade. Their using the visage of a man is apt – for they took G-d and turned Him into a man.

Why did this parade in Rome take place only every seventy years? Seven suggests the natural world. Seven days of the week, seven notes on the musical scale, seven colors in the rainbow. Multiply seven by ten and you get seventy. Ten is also a natural cycle. After ten, numbers go back to one; there is no single number higher than nine. Ten is the completion of the cycle. The Romans were saying: The calculation of your progenitor Yaakov was flawed. The natural cycle has fulfilled itself, and you are still the underdog – and we are still the master race.

"Woe to this one when the other will rise up." The name Yaakov means "he who will come in the end." The Western world has become like a Vegas lounge lizard, a vast media machine with gold medallions dangling across his bared chest, crooning into his radio mike: "The calculation of the end was a fraud… The calculation of the end was a fraud…"

We are the children of Yaakov, the children of Israel. Our eyes are Heaven-bent, waiting for that day when Yaakov will "come in the end" – because he will come – and Esav’s master race will fall like a concrete eagle from the roof of the Third Reich.

 

  • Source: Based on an idea by Rabbi Reuven Lauffer


Rabbi M. Weiss                                                  Rabbi Y. Sakhai


Community News

 

Em Habanim Congregation

Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com

Rosh Chodesh Event


Please join us for Rosh Hodesh Kislev event and Melave Malka this motzaei Shabbat Saturday night the 26h of November at 7:30 PM. An event for the whole family. Dairy Seouda, Music, Divrei Torah and Children’s Games. $10 per adult and $5 for children (over 10 years old). Please invite your friends. Everyone is welcome!



Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed for mitzvot ofHessed including Bikur Holim . Pleasecall the office (818) 762-7779 to inform of your availability. Thank you



Get Well Soon

 

We wish a speedy recovery for all the Jews that may need it where ever they may be and especially for:

Em Habanim:

Max Barchichat From Sephardic Temple: Al Azus,Buena Angel,
Elaine Leon,Itzchak Rachmanony

From S.T.A.R.:


Mordechai Chaim Ben Chana, Chaim Ben Buena,
Meshulam Dov Ben Chana Sarah
Bracha Eliza Bat Ehteram, Bracha Sara Chaya Bat Ronit


View Past Issues

 

Read More

November 18, 2011 Chaye Sara

S.T.A.R. News & Events

Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:

November 20th:

Happy Feet 3D!!! For Kids Ages 7-12 ( Tikva & Aviv) We will have a fantastic time at the theaters followed by a special surprise for the kids. Click here for more information.

December 25th:

STAR kid’s Chanukah party!!!

Join the STAR Gang as we journey back in time at Golf and Stuff. Unlimited games and rides for all, plus a special Chanukah presentation followed by Chanukah gifts!!!

January 15th:

Disneyland

Let”s go to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland!!! To top it all off, you will be with the happiest people on earth, the STAR Group!


 

This Shabbat

 

Shabbat Parashat: Chaye Sara

Candle Lighting: 4:29pm
Shabbat Ends: 5:32pm


Torah Message

 

Wasted On The Young

"…the years of the life of Sarah." (23:1)

Those of us who are old enough to have trouble recalling large areas of their youth will at least have no trouble remembering some standout moments of total irresponsibility. Like hitching a ride with a lunatic German motorcyclist careening his BMW 900 down the autobahn at 100 miles-an-hour through torrential rain in the dead of night. Or going for a walk by yourself in New York City and suddenly realizing that you’re in the middle of Harlem.

"Youth is wasted on the young" runs the old adage. As our hair thins and our waistlines thicken, we try and shed the immaturity of youth and improve our characters, and our actions.

It comes out, then, that what we really can call our ‘life’ – our arriving at some kind of perfection in this world – happens pretty close to our departure from this world. Viewed in this way, our ‘lives’ are even shorter than we thought, and even without the help of lunatic escapades and motorcycle madness.

All the above is true of the average person. However, there are those special people whose entire lives are focused and directed to their ultimate goal. Such were "the years of the life of Sarah." As Rashi says "all of them were equal in their goodness." None of them were wasted or misspent. And even though, of course, Sarah’s stature grew in old age, this was the dividend of a holy life spend in doing mitzvot and good deeds, rather than the necessity to forsake the foolishness of youth – for "all of them were equal in their goodness."

  • Source: Based on the Sfat Emet


Rabbi M. Weiss                                                  Rabbi Y. Sakhai


Community News

 

Em Habanim Congregation

Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com



Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed for mitzvot ofHessed including Bikur Holim . Pleasecall the office (818) 762-7779 to inform of your availability. Thank you



Get Well Soon

 

We wish a speedy recovery for all the Jews that may need it where ever they may be and especially for:

Em Habanim:

Max Barchichat From Sephardic Temple: Al Azus,Buena Angel,
Elaine Leon,Itzchak Rachmanony

From S.T.A.R.:


Mordechai Chaim Ben Chana, Chaim Ben Buena,
Meshulam Dov Ben Chana Sarah
Bracha Eliza Bat Ehteram, Bracha Sara Chaya Bat Ronit


View Past Issues

 

Read More

November 11, 2011 Vayera

S.T.A.R. News & Events

Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:

November 20th:

Happy Feet 3D!!! For Kids Ages 7-12 ( Tikva & Aviv) We will have a fantastic time at the theaters followed by a special surprise for the kids. Click here for more information.



 

This Shabbat

 

Shabbat Parashat: Vayera

Candle Lighting: 4:34pm
Shabbat Ends: 5:31pm


Torah Message

 

Make Yourself at Home!

“And behold – three men were standing over him!” (18:2)

There are some people who look like they are giving but they’re really taking. And there are some people who look like they are taking when they’re really giving.

Anyone who buys a $5,000-a-plate charity dinner is giving a lot of charity, but he’s also getting a lot of status mixed in with his sushi. On the other hand, there are people who look like they’re takers but they are really giving.

Once there was a Jewish traveling salesman who found himself in a largely non-Jewish town on Friday afternoon. His business had delayed him way beyond his expectations and there was now no way he could get home for Shabbat. He had heard that there was just one Orthodox family in town where he could spend Shabbat, and as the sun was starting to set he made his way there.

The owner of the house opened the door to him and showed him into the living room. “May I stay here for Shabbat?” asked the traveling salesman. “If you like,” replied the host. “The price is $200.” “$200!” exclaimed the traveling salesman. “That’s more than a first-class hotel!” “Suit yourself,” replied the host.

Realizing that he had no option, the salesman reluctantly agreed. In the short time left before Shabbat the host showed the salesman his room, the kitchen and the other facilities for his Shabbat stay.

As soon as the host left the room the salesman sat down and thought to himself. “Well, if this is going to cost me $200, I’m going to get my money’s worth.” During the entire Shabbat he availed himself unstintingly of the house’s considerable facilities. He helped himself to the delicious food in the fridge. He had a long luxurious shower before and after Shabbat. He really made himself “at home.”

When he had showered and packed, he made his way downstairs and plunked two crisp $100 bills down on the table in front of his host.

“What’s this?” inquired the host. “That’s the money I owe you,” replied the salesman. “You don’t owe me anything. Do you really think I would take money from a fellow Jew for the miztvah of hospitality?” “But you told me that Shabbat here costs $200.”

“I only told you that to be sure that you would make yourself at home.”

When a guest comes to your home, his natural feeling is one of embarrassment. No one likes being a taker. When a guest brings a present the worst thing you can say is “You shouldn’t have done that!” Rather take the bottle of wine (or whatever it is), open it up, put it in the middle of the table and say “Thank you so much.” By allowing him to contribute to the meal, you will mitigate his feeling of being a taker and you will have done the mitzvah of hospitality to a higher degree.

The mitzvah of hospitality is greater than receiving the Divine Presence. We learn this from the beginning of this week’s Torah portion. G-d had come to visit Avraham on the third day after his brit mila – the most painful day. G-d made the day extremely hot so that Avraham should not be bothered by guests. When G-d saw that Avraham was experiencing more pain from his inability to do the mitzvah of hospitality than the pain of the brit mila, He sent three angels who appeared as men so that Avraham could do the mitzvah of hospitality. When these “men” appeared Avraham got up from in front of the Divine Presence to greet his guests.

Hospitality is greater than receiving the Divine Presence.

  • Sources: Rashi, Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler


Rabbi M. Weiss                                                  Rabbi Y. Sakhai


Community News

 

Em Habanim Congregation

Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com



Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed for mitzvot ofHessed including Bikur Holim . Pleasecall the office (818) 762-7779 to inform of your availability. Thank you




Get Well Soon

 

We wish a speedy recovery for all the Jews that may need it where ever they may be and especially for:

Em Habanim:

Max Barchichat From Sephardic Temple: Al Azus,Buena Angel,
Elaine Leon,Itzchak Rachmanony

From S.T.A.R.:


Mordechai Chaim Ben Chana, Chaim Ben Buena,
Meshulam Dov Ben Chana Sarah
Bracha Eliza Bat Ehteram, Bracha Sara Chaya Bat Ronit


View Past Issues

 

Read More

November 4, 2011 Lech Lecha

S.T.A.R. News & Events

Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:

November 20th:

Happy Feet 3D!!! For Kids Ages 7-12 ( Tikva & Aviv) We will have a fantastic time at the theaters followed by a special surprise for the kids. Click here for more information.



 

This Shabbat

 

Shabbat Parashat: Lech Lecha

Candle Lighting: 5:41pm
Shabbat Ends: 6:36pm

Daylight saving time begins Sunday Morning at 2am

 


Torah Message

 

"And I will make of you a great nation; I will bless you, and make your name great, and you will be a blessing."

The above sentence is part of the first recorded communication between G‑d and man. The beginning of the relationship. As it is the beginning, these words must also contain the essence of that relationship. For all beginning contains essence. A seed is not just the beginning of an oak, it is also its essence.

When G-d spoke to Avraham, He promised him many things: that he would be a great nation; that he would be blessed and that his name would be made great. However all of this was predicated on a single condition – that Avraham would be a reason for people to bless G-d. This was to be the essence of the relationship between G-d and man. That through his every action, man would sanctify G-d’s name. That he would bring a blessing to the lips of the world.

Our actions are scrutinized by the world. If we are held to a higher – and sometimes double – standard, whether as individuals or as a nation, it is because the world recognizes subconsciously that our job in this world is ‘to be a blessing’, to sanctify G-d’s name.

 

Rabbi M. Weiss                                                  Rabbi Y. Sakhai


Community News

 

Em Habanim Congregation

Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com


Em Habanim Congregation’s annual banquet will be held on Sunday  the 6th of November, 2011. The honored Guests are: Mark Castiel, Andre Chrique and Johnny Elbaz Deckel.
Em Habanim will be celebrating close to 40 years of service to the community.

Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed for mitzvot ofHessed including Bikur Holim . Pleasecall the office (818) 762-7779 to inform of your availability. Thank you


Sephardic Temple:


Mark your calendars:

Saturday, November 5th, 2011 A Gal celebration honoring the 2011 Sephardic Heritage award recipients Mr. Larry Clumeck and Dr. Samuel Newman.
For more info. visit sephardictemple.org



Get Well Soon

 

We wish a speedy recovery for all the Jews that may need it where ever they may be and especially for:

Em Habanim:

Max Barchichat From Sephardic Temple: Al Azus,Buena Angel,
Elaine Leon,Itzchak Rachmanony

From S.T.A.R.:


Mordechai Chaim Ben Chana, Chaim Ben Buena,
Meshulam Dov Ben Chana Sarah
Bracha Eliza Bat Ehteram, Bracha Sara Chaya Bat Ronit


View Past Issues

 

Read More

October 28, 2011 Noah

S.T.A.R. News & Events

Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:

October 29th 2011:

Knotts Scary Farm trip is now SOLD out!!


 

This Shabbat

 

Shabbat Parashat: Noah

Candle Lighting: 5:47pm
Shabbat Ends: 6:42pm

 


Torah Message

 

Strictly For The Birds

From each bird according to its kind, and from each animal according to its kind(6:2)

Recent world events have shown that anti-Semitism is alive and well and living in all those centers of civilization in which it was considered extinct half a century ago.

The existence of a Jewish state, the 19th century Jewish intelligentsias ultimate panacea against anti-Semitism, has failed to prevent the emergence of an anti-Semitism as potentially virulent as any strain to date with the ultimate irony that we are now dubbed the new “Nazis”!

What is all this supposed to teach us?

The existence of the Jewish People in an other-worldly phenomenon. The “unhistory” of the Jewish People has perplexed historians and left them either wanting to change their professions or fudging the facts. Logically, they say, we shouldn’t be here at all. And in a sense, they’re right. We don’t belong here. We occupy this world as a piece of rented real estate. This is not our place. We are an other-worldly people.

The Jewish People is likened to a bird. In its natural element, the bird can soar to the heights, leaving its earth-bound cousins far below. However, when you enclose a bird in a cage, not only does it no longer soar, but its very advantages become its weaknesses. Its feet are not suited to walking around. Its wings atrophy. Its plumage wilts.

In this week’s Torah portion, when the animals entered the ark, the Torah lists the birds before the land animals: “From each bird according to its kind, and from each animal according to its kind.” However, after the entry to the ark it mentions the land animals before the birds: “And the animal that is not kosher, or the birds.” And when about to leave the ark, the order reverts to the birds being mentioned before the land animals: “Every living thing that is with you of all flesh, of birds, of animals.

Why did the Torah change the order?

The ark was a microcosm of the world. Just as the world as three levels of holiness, so too the ark had three levels. Just as the world has a sun that radiates light to it, so too the ark had a precious jewel fixed in the ceiling that radiated light to it.

Outside the ark, the birds can fly. They are pre-eminent. However, when they are cooped up in an ark, they become the least of the animals.

We are a nation that has been designed to soar to the skies, but if we choose to lock ourselves into an ark of physicality we will find ourselves as sprightly as a Dodo.

  • SourcesMidrash, Maharal, Rabbi Chaim Zvi Senter, Ariel Hershkowitz

 

Rabbi M. Weiss                                                  Rabbi Y. Sakhai


Community News

 

Em Habanim Congregation

Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com


Em Habanim Congregation’s annual banquet will be held on Sunday  the 6th of November, 2011. The honored Guests are: Mark Castiel, Andre Chrique and Johnny Elbaz Deckel.
Em Habanim will be celebrating close to 40 years of service to the community.

Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed for mitzvot ofHessed including Bikur Holim . Pleasecall the office (818) 762-7779 to inform of your availability. Thank you


Sephardic Temple:


Mark your calendars:

Saturday, November 5th, 2011 A Gal celebration honoring the 2011 Sephardic Heritage award recipients Mr. Larry Clumeck and Dr. Samuel Newman.
For more info. visit sephardictemple.org



Get Well Soon

 

We wish a speedy recovery for all the Jews that may need it where ever they may be and especially for:

Em Habanim:

Max Barchichat From Sephardic Temple: Al Azus,Buena Angel,
Elaine Leon,Itzchak Rachmanony

From S.T.A.R.:


Mordechai Chaim Ben Chana, Chaim Ben Buena,
Meshulam Dov Ben Chana Sarah
Bracha Eliza Bat Ehteram, Bracha Sara Chaya Bat Ronit


View Past Issues

 

Read More

OCTOBER 12-15, 2011 SUKKOT/SHABBAT

S.T.A.R. News & Events

Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:


October 16th

The most magnificent Sukka party EVER at the Levy’s!!! For Kids Ages 7-12 and Teens Ages 13-18.
Click here for the applications!

October 29th

The scariest night out with the STAR Gang. Join us for the fun of your life at Knott’s Scary Farm!
Click for application.


Chag Sukkot / This Shabbat

 

Sukkot Day 1:
Wednesday Candle Lighting: 6:06pm

Sukkot Day 2:
Thursday Candle Lighting: 7:00pm

Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukka:

Candle Lighting: 6:03pm
Shabbat Ends: 6:58pm


Torah Message

 

One of the many touching stories told about the late, great Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zatzal, deals with the mystery surrounding the reason why this Torah giant was in Tel Aviv, away from the sacred Jerusalem where he was born and lived all his life.

It was on the occasion of the wedding of his nephew, an orphan from both parents, who became his charge. Rabbi Auerbach led him to the chuppa which took place in Tel Aviv and stayed overnight in that city. The nephew, who later became the rabbi of the Ramat Chen community in Tel Aviv, did not understand why his uncle did this very uncharacteristic thing until the day that he himself arranged a wedding for an orphaned chatan.

“I hope you will conduct yourself with this orphaned chatan as I did with you,” cautioned his uncle.

When the nephew failed to comprehend the hint, his uncle explained. A chatan and akalla receive many beautiful gifts at their wedding, and one of their happiest moments is when they can show off the gifts to their parents. Since the orphaned chatan had no parents to whom he could show those gifts, his uncle, with the proper sensitivity of a great Torah scholar, stayed overnight so that he could provide the newly married couple with this special simcha.

 

Rabbi M. Weiss                                                  Rabbi Y. Sakhai


Community News

 

Em Habanim Congregation

Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com


Em Habanim Congregation’s annual banquet will be held on Sunday  the 6th of November, 2011. The honored Guests are: Mark Castiel, Andre Chrique and Johnny Elbaz Deckel.
Em Habanim will be celebrating close to 40 years of service to the community.

Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed for mitzvot ofHessed including Bikur Holim . Pleasecall the office (818) 762-7779 to inform of your availability. Thank you


Sephardic Temple:


Mark your calendars:

Saturday, November 5th, 2011 A Gal celebration honoring the 2011 Sephardic Heritage award recipients Mr. Larry Clumeck and Dr. Samuel Newman.
For more info. visit sephardictemple.org


Get Well Soon

 

We wish a speedy recovery for all the Jews that may need it where ever they may be and especially for:

Em Habanim:

Max Barchichat From Sephardic Temple: Al Azus,Buena Angel,
Elaine Leon,Itzchak Rachmanony

From S.T.A.R.:


Mordechai Chaim Ben Chana, Chaim Ben Buena,
Meshulam Dov Ben Chana Sarah
Bracha Eliza Bat Ehteram, Bracha Sara Chaya Bat Ronit


View Past Issues

 

Read More