March 9, 2012 Ki Tisa

S.T.A.R. News & Events

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

April 22, 2012

STAR Teens, Get ready to have the wackiest time of your life at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Click Here for more info.

March 18, 2012

STAR kids leave your wings at home, we are going to the ultimate trampoline arena; SKY HIGH!!


S.T.A.R. Community Lag B’Omer Extravaganza at the Santa Monica Pier May 9th, 2012. 
Come and join thousands of Jews from all kinds of background on the happiest time of the year.  

This Shabbat

Shabbat Parashat: Ki Tisa

Candle Lighting: 5:39pm
Shabbat Ends: 6:35pm

Torah Message

One Step Beyond

"…he will give Teruma of G-d." (30:14)

The entire Oral Torah begins with the question, "When do we read the Shema prayer in the evening?" The Mishna answers, "When the kohanim go in to eat their Teruma (the priestly gifts)."

What is the connection between saying the Shema and the mitzvah of Teruma? Why didn’t the Mishna just say, "The time to say Shema in the evening is when it gets dark"?

The Torah obligation to give Teruma is as little as a single grain. The Rabbinic obligation, however mandates between one-sixtieth, which is considered miserly, and one-fortieth, which is generous. The median amount is one-fiftieth. The word "Teruma" is an allusion to this median amount, forTeruma stands for trei mi-me’ah, two out of one hundred – one-fiftieth.

If the Torah was hinting through the word Teruma to the median gift of one-fiftieth, why did it express that fraction as two parts out of a hundred? Why didn’t it coin instead a word that used the words for ‘one’ and ‘fifty – Chad and Chamishim? Why wasn’t Teruma called "Chadshim" or something like that? And why specifically the proportion of two out of a hundred? Why not four parts out of two hundred, or eight out of four hundred?

The Vilna Gaon explains that the core of Shema lies in the first verse, Shema Yisrael, and in the next phraseBaruch Shem Kevod Malchuto le’olam va’ed, "Blessed is Hashem’s name of the Honor of His Kingdom for ever and ever," which we say immediately afterward. The essence of Shema is to affirm our belief that everything in existence is One and the smallest aspect of creation ultimately leads to Him alone.

The Gaon of Vilna observed that the twenty-five letters in the first verseof Shema and the twenty-four letters in Baruch Shem together equal forty-nine.

The number fifty connotes something beyond this world. We count forty-nine days of the Omer from Pesach till Shavuot, but we do not count the final day, the day of Shavuot itself, because Shavuot represents something beyond this world – the supernal moment of the closest encounter between G-d and man.

In this world, we can approach fifty, but we cannot count it; we cannot define or delineate it.

When I say the Shema I surrender the ineffable, indisputable knowledge of my own existence and proclaim that there is only One Existence, and that I am no more than just one expression of that Ultimate Existence. That is the ‘one’ that I give to make the fifty complete.

My recitation of the Shema – my own closest encounter with G-d – represents the "one" that raises the forty-nine to fifty. And as I say the Shema twice daily, it represents the trei mi-me’ah â€“ the two out of a hundred.

Trei mi me’ah– twice a day, the Teruma that I give is the forty-nine letters that make up my declaration of G-d’s total and absolute Unity, together with the ‘one’ – the surrender and elevation of my own existence that joins me to ‘fifty’ – the Ultimate Existence.


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


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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