September 9th, 2011 Ki-Tetze

S.T.A.R. News & Events

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

September 25th

Are you ready for the Rosh Hashana experience of your life?? Join STAR as we embark on an apple picking, trout fishing, Shofar making journey to the future!

This Shabbat

Shabbat Parashat: KI-Tetze

Candle Lighting: 6:50pm
Shabbat Ends: 7:52pm


Torah Message


The Spice Of Life

"…and he wrote her a bill of divorce…" (24:1)

Nothing is sadder than a family break-up.

Divorce is the scourge of our modern world. American statistics show 50% of first marriages end in divorce, and the figures become more depressing for each successive marriage, with 65% of second marriages ending in divorce and even higher rates for third marriages and beyond. Between 3.6 to 5% of marriages break up every year, which means that a large portion of adults personally experience divorce at some point in their lives.

In many communities, pre-nuptial agreements are par for the course as more and more couples enter marriage with fewer and fewer expectations.

The Torah acknowledges that not all marriages will be successful.

It gives us the mitzvah of "gerushin", divorce, in such an unhappy event. "Till death us do part…" is not a Jewish idea. However, divorce while being a mitzvah is no source for joy. The Talmud says that when a couple gets divorced, the mizbe’ach, the holy altar, weeps.

How are we to understand this idea, that the mizbeach " weeps"?

Nothing in Judaism is merely poetic. And why should specifically the mizbe’ach weep? Why not the Tablets of the Covenant? Why not the husband’s tefillin? Why not the wife’s Shabbat candelabra – her sheitel?

Probably the greatest cause of marital disharmony is misunderstanding the purpose of marriage. The secular paradigm, enshrined in every fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm to the Brothers Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, is that the princess finds everything she wants in her Prince Charming, and he finds everything he wants in her: Beauty, poise, intelligence, money, someone who puts the top on the toothpaste – everything!

Marriage is not about finding someone to fulfill you. It’s about finding someone you can fulfill.

Marriage is a machine for giving – that’s all it is. Marriage is about living the principle that you arenot the center of the world. In the Book of Genesisthe Torah says, "It is not good for man to live alone." When you live alone, you only have one person to give to – yours truly. The world revolves around you. You are the center of the universe.

The mizbe’ach is the place when man ‘gives’ to G-d. Man gives of his best and offers it to his Creator. The word ‘korban’ (woefully inadequately translated as ‘sacrifice’, comes from the root ‘closeness’.) When you give, you become close. When you take, you distance yourself.

The Torah tells us that no korban could be offered without the presence of salt on the mizbe’ach.Salt is the archetypal giver. Salt has only one purpose – to give taste to something else. By itself it is nothing. When a person sees himself as "salt", when he sees the whole purpose of his existence is to give, he has added the vital ingredient to his marriage.

He has added the spice of life.

  • Source: Rabbi C. Z. Senter


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

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.

Yom Kippur services will be held at the Century Plaza Hyatt Regency in Century City. More details will follow.

Sephardic Temple:

Talmud Torah registration for the new school year 2011/2012 is ongoing throughout the summer!

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

Sunday September, 3rd, 2011 Annual STTI Family picnic Mar Vista Park 10am -3pm Food, Music, Games and Fun!

Mazal Tov

Em Habanim:

Mazal Tov to the Abakasis Family on the Bar Mitzvah of their son Dylan. May Hashem Bless him and guide him in the path of Torah.

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

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