January 20, 2012 Va’era

S.T.A.R. News & Events

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

February 11, 2012

Join the STAR Teens as we explore the and capture the world. A whole night of fun, great food and much more at the largest Laser Tag facility in LA. 

February 20, 2012

STAR kids will be having a full day of fun in the snowiest part of LA. Sledding, Snow ball fights, great food and much much more. 


This Shabbat

Shabbat Parashat: Va’era

Candle Lighting: 4:53pm
Shabbat Ends: 5:57pm

Torah Message

The Real Thing

"…and Aaron’s staff swallowed their staffs." (7:12)

You can’t fake the Real Thing.

When Aaron’s staff swallowed the staffs of the Egyptian sorcerers in front of the king it became clear who was authentic and who was not.

Jewish history has been plagued by other movements purporting to be the Real Judaism.

The most successful of these is undoubtedly Christianity, but there have been many others who have tried to authenticate themselves as the ‘real’ Judaism. Some break away from normative Judaism and change their name, and some try to usurp the authority of the Torah Sages and call their beliefs ‘Judaism’.

During the Ottoman Empire, the Karaites attempted to gain recognition for themselves as the ‘authentic Jews’.

They approached the Sultan, wanting to be recognized as the legitimate ‘People of Israel’, and that the Jewish People should be disenfranchised as being fakes.

The Sultan summoned a representative of both the Karaites and a Rabbi to appear in front of him at the royal palace. After hearing both their cases, he would decide who was the authentic "People of the Book".

Of course, as was the custom of the east, both the Karaite and the Rabbi were required to remove their shoes before appearing in front of the Sultan. The Karaite removed his shoes and left them by the entrance to the throne room. The rabbi also removed his shoes, but then he picked them up and carried them with him into the audience with the Sultan.

When the Sultan looked down from his throne he was struck by the somewhat strange sight of the Rabbi holding a pair of shoes, and he demanded an explanation.

"Your Majesty." began the Rabbi "As you know, when the Holy One, may His Name be blessed, appeared to our teacher Moses, peace be upon him, at the site of the burning bush, G-d told Moses, "Take off your shoes from on your feet!"

"We have a tradition," said the Rabbi, "that while Moses was speaking to the Holy One, a Karaite came and stole his shoes! So, now, whenever we are in the company of Karaites we make sure to hold onto our shoes!"

The Karaite turned to the Rabbi and blustered, "That’s nonsense! Everyone knows that at the time of Moses, there were no Karaites!"

The Rabbi allowed time for what the Karaite had said to sink in, and then quietly added, "Your Majesty, I don’t believe there is a need for more to be said."

You can’t fake the Real Thing.

  • Source: Heard from Rabbi Zev Lef


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


Please join Em Habanim congregation as we celebrate the Hilula of Harav Yisrael Abuchatzira (The Baba Sali) on the 26th of January at 6:30pm. Dinner will be served accompanied by entertainment, admission $26.


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 urge the whole community and all the jews around the world to pray for two 16 year old boys that were in a tragic accident. May hashem grant them a full Refuah Shelema and may he grant their families patience and nachat, Amen. 

Ariel Menachem Chayim ben Miryam & Daniel ben Sara

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,
Donna Devora bat Sara 

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