Friday, August 11, 2017

THE WALK OF LIFE

20 Av 5777 / 11-12 August 2017
Parashat Ekev
Torah: Deuteronomy 7:12 - 11:25
Haftarah: Isaiah 49:14 - 51:3 (Second Haftarah of Consolation)

NOTE: Membership letters and dues forms for the coming year were sent to all Congregation Beth Meier members. Please return them to the CBM office as soon as possible. We are happy to report that we are finalizing our partnership agreement with Temple B’nai Hayim, and will begin our joint services there beginning on Friday, August 18. Rabbi Flom will begin presiding at services on Friday, August 25. High Holy Day services will be held at the Temple B’nai Hayim site at 4302 Van Nuys Boulevard, Sherman Oaks.

For full Calendar of Events and lots of information about our community, check out our web site at: http://www.bethmeier.org/

Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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THE WALK OF LIFE

"And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you? Only that you should fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 10:12

"For if you surely observe all this commandment that I command you, to do it; to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to cling to Him." Deuteronomy 11:22

We humans are so full of ourselves, we think we have the power of God; we want to be like God. But a simple "act of God", such as a bolt of lightning, can shut down human power, literally, for millions of people.

Sifre Deuteronomy teaches: "To walk in all His ways." These are the ways of the Holy One, Blessed is He - "compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in kindness and truth, preserving kindness for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and granting pardon." (Quoting Exodus 34:6) Just as The One Who is in Every Place is compassionate and gracious, so must you be compassionate and gracious....

Compassionate, gracious, patient, kind, truthful, forgiving - these are more than just words. These are the ways we are supposed to walk through life - this is the path God wants us to follow. This is the way we can be like God. Just as God has Thirteen Attributes, so must we, created in God's image for the purpose of maintaining God's world, strive to develop in ourselves as many of these attributes as is humanly possible. Lace up those boots and start walking!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Richard A. Flom
Congregation Beth Meier
Studio City, CA
Visit me on Facebook
Twitter: @DrahcirMolf
"שתיקה כהודאה דמיא"
"Silence in the face of wrongdoing is consent.”
BT Yevamot 87b
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Candle lighting: 7:26 pm

Friday – Family Shabbat Evening Service – 7:30 pm. Guitar-accompanied service with Cantor Kerry Katz. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Tuesday – NO Lunch and Learn August 15 or August 22 – Rabbi Flom out of town. Resume August 29 at Temple B’nai Hayim.
Friday, August 18 – Shabbat Evening Service at Temple B’nai Hayim – 7:30 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, August 19 – Shabbat Morning Service at Temple B’nai Hayim – 9:30 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.

Barukh dayan emet – we regret to advise you of the death of former CBM member and long-time friend to the congregation Henry Ellend. Hamakom yenachem … May the One in Every Place grant comfort to his family and friends.

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, HaRav Tzvi Hersh ben Frimet, Sarah bat Devorah, Susan Arbetman, Stuart Barth, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky (Serach bat Miriam), Stana Cooper, Jerry Daniels, Bryon Fendrich (Berel ben Chanah), Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Kerry Katz, Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek (Zlata Malkah bat Sarah Emanu), Toni Linder, Stuart Lytton, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), and Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina).

Please let me know if there is anyone you would like to add to this list or if there is anyone who may be removed from this list.

My weekly divrei torah are available through free subscription to the Cyber Torah e-mail list. No salesman will call!
Cyber Torah list management:
To subscribe to Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Subscribe Cyber Torah”.
To unsubscribe from Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Unsubscribe Cyber Torah”.
To dedicate a Cyber Torah in honor of a simchah in memory of a loved one or for a refuah shleimah, send an e-mail to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Dedicate Cyber Torah” and provide details in the message body.

Friday, August 4, 2017

A LOVING HEART IS A HEALTHY HEART

Parashat Va'etchanan
13 Av 5777 / 4-5 August 2017
Torah: Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:1-26 (First Haftarah of Consolation)
 
This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of Comfort, for the words of God and the prophet following Tisha B'Av (9 Av).  Monday is Tu B'Av (15 Av), described in rabbinic texts as a most joyous day, when brides and grooms find each other.
 
NOTE: Membership letters and dues forms for the coming year were sent to all Congregation Beth Meier members. Please return them to the CBM office as soon as possible. Until we have a further update on the completion of our partnership arrangement with Temple B’nai Hayim, all services will be held at Congregation Beth Meier. PLEASE READ YOUR EMAILS AND SNAIL MAIL LETTERS FROM BETH MEIER!
 
Dedications and calendar follow below. For complete listings and lots of other information about our community, see our website at:
 
 
Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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A LOVING HEART IS A HEALTHY HEART
 
"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might." Deuteronomy 6:4
 
"And it shall come to pass, if you surely heed My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve God with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 11:13 (Parashat Ekev)
 
These two verses are both found in the Sh’ma (first and second paragraphs, respectively). I can understand how I can love with all my heart – our culture has considered the heart to be the metaphoric seat of love for thousands of years. Moreover, we say the heart is the source of all emotion - we often refer to deep emotional pain as “heartsick”.
 
How about serving with all one’s heart? According to the Rabbis, the answer is that prayer is a service of the heart (avodat halev). Indeed, the verse implies that prayer which is heartfelt can be seen as an act of love as well as of service to God.
 
But what happens when we cannot or will not use the heart for love, but instead, use it for hostility? A research study a few years ago found that people who were rated high on an “antagonism” scale were more likely to have calcium buildup in their heart arteries – literally, hardening of the heart!
 
Love and serve God with your heart, and you fulfill a commandment. The same is true for loving your fellows – “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your people, but you shall love your fellow as yourself: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:18) Don’t love, and you risk a heart attack. What an easy choice! I guess this is what they mean by “a no-brainer”.
 
Shabbat Shalom.
 
Rabbi Richard A. Flom
Congregation Beth Meier
Studio City, CA
Visit me on Facebook
Twitter: @DrahcirMolf
"שתיקה כהודאה דמיא"
"Silence in the face of wrongdoing is consent.”
BT Yevamot 87b
-------------------------------------------------------
Candle lighting: 7:33 pm
 
Until we have a further update on the completion of our partnership arrangement with Temple B’nai Hayim, all services will be held at Congregation Beth Meier.
 
Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Tuesday – Lunch and Learn – 12:00 non at Beth Meier. NO Lunch and Learn August 15 or August 22 – Rabbi Flom out of town.
Friday, August 11 – Family Shabbat Evening Service – 7:30 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, August 12 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
 
 
Barukh dayan emet – we regret to advise you of the death of Helen Katz Goldberg. A graveside funeral service will take place at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, on Sunday at 10:00 am.
 
This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, HaRav Tzvi Hersh ben Frimet, Sarah bat Devorah, Susan Arbetman, Stuart Barth, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky (Serach bat Miriam), Stana Cooper, Jerry Daniels, Bryon Fendrich (Berel ben Chanah), Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Kerry Katz, Dena Kosche (Dena bat Sarah Emanu), Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek (Zlata Malkah bat Sarah Emanu), Toni Linder, Stuart Lytton, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), and Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina).
 
Please let me know if there is anyone you would like to add to this list or if there is anyone who may be removed from this list.
 
My weekly divrei torah are available through free subscription to the Cyber Torah e-mail list. No salesman will call!
Cyber Torah list management:
To subscribe to Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Subscribe Cyber Torah”.
To unsubscribe from Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Unsubscribe Cyber Torah”.
To dedicate a Cyber Torah in honor of a simchah in memory of a loved one or for a refuah shleimah, send an e-mail to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Dedicate Cyber Torah” and provide details in the message body.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

BEARING AND SHARING THE BURDEN

6 Av 5777 / 28-29 July 2017
Parashat Devarim (Shabbat Chazon)
Torah: Deuteronomy 1:1 - 3:22
Haftarah: Isaiah 1:1-27 (Third Haftarah of Admonition)

This Shabbat is Shabbat Chazon, the Shabbat of Vision, so-called because we read on Shabbat morning the rebuking vision of Isaiah, leading into the observance of Tisha B’Av on Monday night and Tuesday, and the reading of the horrifying vision of the Book of Lamentations. Tisha B'Av, the Ninth of Av, commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, and numerous other calamities which have befallen the Jewish people on the same date. Please join us for a brief service, reading of Lamentations, study and discussion on July 31, Monday evening at 8:00 pm at Temple B’nai Hayim, 4302 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91403 (south of Ventura Blvd.). Have a meaningful fast.

NOTE: Membership letters and dues forms for the coming year were sent last week to all Congregation Beth Meier members. Please return them to the CBM office as soon as possible. We are in the final stages of completing our agreement to permanently join with Temple B’nai Hayim. However, contrary to our previous communications, our Shabbat services this week will be held here at Congregation Beth Meier. Assuming that the agreement is finalized in the next week or so, all services commencing Friday, August 11, will be conducted at Temple B’nai Hayim. For future reference, note also that at B’nai Hayim, all Shabbat Evening services commence at 7:30 pm, and all Shabbat Morning services commence at 9:30 am. Shabbat Morning service will generally be preceded by Torah study and light refreshments at 8:45 am. Check calendar below or website for details. And PLEASE READ YOUR EMAILS AND SNAIL MAIL LETTERS FROM BETH MEIER!

Dedications and calendar follow below. For complete listings and lots of other information about our community, see our website at:


Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
-------------------------------------------------------------
BEARING AND SHARING THE BURDEN

"How (eikhah in Hebrew) can I alone bear your vexation and your burden and your strife?" Deuteronomy 1:12

Rashi: "Even if I were to say that I will do so in order to receive a reward, I may not do so."

Rashi offers the traditional Jewish take on the limits of personal responsibility. One is actually forbidden to voluntarily take on a burden that might be greater than one can bear, even (especially?) if one does so in order to receive a reward from God and/or the community. One may not voluntarily injure oneself (except to save a life); also, too much responsibility assumed by one person can actually do damage to the community.

But what happens when one refuses to accept any share of the burden for communal needs? R. Yosef Yozl Horowitz takes Rashi's comment and stands it on its head. He says, "Traditionally, this verse is read to the melody of Lamentations (Megillat Eikhah, from the first word of Lamentations), to teach us that if a person refuses to assume the responsibility for community needs, and thinks that by doing so he makes things easier for himself, he will in the end find out that matters will be worse for him, and he will remain alone and isolated. How (eikhah) does one dwell alone?" (From Itturei Torah)  As John Donne said: “No man is an island entire of itself.”

We are forbidden to take on so much responsibility that we become a burden on the community. On the other hand, we are forbidden to neglect our obligations to the community. These two teachings together offer a great insight, summed up by Rabbi Tarfon: "You are not obligated to finish the task, neither are you free to neglect it." Avot 2:21 If we share the burden, it's easier to bear. That's community spirit!

Shabbat Shalom! And have a meaningful fast.

Rabbi Richard A. Flom
Congregation Beth Meier
Studio City, CA
Visit me on Facebook
Twitter: @DrahcirMolf
"שתיקה כהודאה דמיא"
"Silence in the face of wrongdoing is consent.”
BT Yevamot 87b
-------------------------------------------------------
Candle lighting: 7:39 pm

Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Monday – Tisha B’Av Service – 8:00 pm. Reading of Megillat Eicha – Book of Lamentations. AT TEMPLE B’NAI HAYIM - 4302 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91403
Tuesday – Tisha B’Av - NO Lunch and Learn! Resume August 8.

This d’var torah is offered in memory of my grandmother, Sarah Flom, whose yahrzeit is 10 Av (next Wednesday) and in memory of Lynn’s grandmother, Martha Stern, whose yahrzeit is 12 Av (next Friday). May their memories be blessings.

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, HaRav Tzvi Hersh ben Frimet, Sarah bat Devorah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky (Serach bat Miriam), Jerry Daniels, Bryon Fendrich (Berel ben Chanah), Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Kerry Katz, Dena Kosche (Dena bat Sarah Emanu), Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek (Zlata Malkah bat Sarah Emanu), Toni Linder, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), and Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina).

Please let me know if there is anyone you would like to add to this list or if there is anyone who may be removed from this list.

My weekly divrei torah are available through free subscription to the Cyber Torah e-mail list. No salesman will call!
Cyber Torah list management:
To subscribe to Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Subscribe Cyber Torah”.
To unsubscribe from Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Unsubscribe Cyber Torah”.
To dedicate a Cyber Torah in honor of a simchah in memory of a loved one or for a refuah shleimah, send an e-mail to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Dedicate Cyber Torah” and provide details in the message body.

Friday, July 21, 2017

KOSHER WORDS, KOSHER THINGS

28 Tammuz 5777 / 21-22 July 2017
Parashat Mattot - Mas'ei
Torah: Numbers 30:2 - 32:42
Haftarah: Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4 (Sephardim add Jeremiah 4:1-2)

NOTE: Membership letters and dues forms for the coming year were sent today to all Congregation Beth Meier members. Please return them to the CBM office as soon as possible. We are in the final stages of completing our agreement to join with Temple B’nai Hayim. However, contrary to our previous communications, our Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29 Shabbat services will be held here at Congregation Beth Meier. Assuming that the agreement is finalized in the next week or so, all services commencing Friday, August 11, will be conducted at Temple B’nai Hayim, 4302 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91403. Note also that at B’nai Hayim, all Shabbat Evening services commence at 7:30 pm, and all Shabbat Morning services commence at 9:30 am. Shabbat Morning service will generally be preceded by Torah study and light refreshments at 8:45 am. Check calendar below or website for details. And PLEASE READ YOUR EMAILS AND SNAIL MAIL LETTERS FROM BETH MEIER!

Dedications and calendar follow below. For complete listings and lots of other information about our community, see our website at:


Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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KOSHER WORDS, KOSHER THINGS

"If a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath prohibiting something to himself, he shall not profane his word; all that has come from his mouth he must do." Numbers 30:3

”Any articles that can withstand fire, you shall pass through the fire, and they shall be pure, except that they shall be purified with the water of sprinkling (water imbued with red heifer ashes); and that which cannot withstand fire you shall pass through the water." Numbers 31:23

Vows and oaths have extraordinary power - they can turn ordinary objects into things of holiness or prohibition. "I hereby vow to donate this silver cup to the synagogue"; "By my oath, I will not eat meat for six months" - these words have transformative effect over mundane things. This is why Jewish tradition frowns on the recitation of vows and oaths.

Changing the (ritual) nature of objects is accomplished either by words, according to the first verse, or by kashering, making them fit to use, as stated in the later verse. What about the converse? What happens if you profane your word?

If an object is kosher, and is used only for kosher purposes, it remains kosher. If it is defiled, it requires an elaborate process of kashering. Similarly, if you want to retract a vow, the rabbis devised a ritual for doing so. If you have already violated your word, you must do teshuvah - the steps of repentance. Just as it is far easier to maintain the kashrut of an object by not defiling it, so is it easier to maintain the purity of our words by fulfilling them.

So perhaps it is not coincidental that the Hebrew word for "things" and the Hebrew word for "words" is the same word - "devarim". Our words have meaning and power that are tangible. Be a man or woman of your word.

Peace and blessings. Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Richard A. Flom
Congregation Beth Meier
Studio City, CA
Visit me on Facebook
Twitter: @DrahcirMolf
"שתיקה כהודאה דמיא"
"Silence in the face of wrongdoing is consent.”
BT Yevamot 87b
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Candle lighting: 7:43 pm

Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Bat Mitzvah of Jayme Drapkin – Mazal tov! Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Bat Mitzvah of Jayme Drapkin – Mazal tov! The entire congregation is invited to this joyous event! RSVP to CBM office. Kiddush luncheon sponsored by Danny and Teresa Drapkin follows.
Sunday, July 23 – Open House at Beth Meier TO BE RESCHEDULED TO A LATER DATE 
Tuesday – Lunch and Learn – 12:00 noon.
Friday, July 28 – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, July 29 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows services.
Monday, July 31 – Tisha B’Av Service – 8:00 pm. Reading of Megillat Eicha – Book of Lamentations. AT TEMPLE B’NAI HAYIM - 4302 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91403
Tuesday, August 1 – Tisha B’Av - NO Lunch and Learn! Resume August 8.

This d'var torah is offered in honor of Jayme Drapkin on becoming a Bat Mitzvah! Mazal Tov!

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, HaRav Tzvi Hersh ben Frimet, Sarah bat Devorah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky (Serach bat Miriam), Jerry Daniels, Bryon Fendrich (Berel ben Chanah), Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Kerry Katz, Dena Kosche (Dena bat Sarah Emanu), Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek (Zlata Malkah bat Sarah Emanu), Toni Linder, Senator John McCain, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), and Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina).

Please let me know if there is anyone you would like to add to this list or if there is anyone who may be removed from this list.

My weekly divrei torah are available through free subscription to the Cyber Torah e-mail list. No salesman will call!
Cyber Torah list management:
To subscribe to Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net  with the heading “Subscribe Cyber Torah”.
To unsubscribe from Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Unsubscribe Cyber Torah”.
To dedicate a Cyber Torah in honor of a simchah in memory of a loved one or for a refuah shleimah, send an e-mail to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Dedicate Cyber Torah” and provide details in the message body.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

THE BEST PLACES

Parashat Balak
14 Tammuz 5777 / 7-8 July 2017                   
Torah: Numbers 22:2 – 25:9
Haftarah: Micah 5:6 – 6:8

Dedications and calendar follow below. For complete listings and lots of other information about our community, see our web site at: http://bethmeier.org

Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
-------------------------------------------------------
THE BEST PLACES

"How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel." Numbers 24:5

Bil'am, the sorcerer with the alleged ability to put curses on other people, was hired by the Moabite king, Balak, to curse the Israelites. God permits him to utter nothing but blessings. The blessing above is the most famous of these, and is said or sung as we enter a synagogue to begin the prayer service.

Over the millenia, innumerable commentators have offered explanations for this verse. A particularly meaningful one, for me, is given by the 16th century Italian, Rabbi Ovadiah Sforno. Citing other verses as proof texts, he says that "tents" refers to the House of Study – the beit midrash or yeshivah. The "dwelling places" are the House of Assembly – beit k’nesset - synagogue.

Certainly, these are the places where the vast majority of us have our encounters with God - studying holy texts and praying. I would like to take a broader view, by reading the terms "tents" and "dwelling places" in a more literal way. For one thing, we don't need to study or pray only at the beit midrash or beit knesset . We can do those things virtually anywhere. We can turn any place into a beit midrash, so long as we are engaged in the work of studying our holy texts. We can turn any place into a beit k’nesset, so long as we are offering up sincere prayers. But there is more, much more, to practicing Judaism. And there are more places, many more places, for practicing Judaism.

I believe we should read "dwelling places" as our homes, the places where we spend the greatest portion of our time. Then "tents" are temporary places, whether workplaces or summer vacation spots or hospital rooms or supermarkets. These tents and dwelling places, which may be anywhere, are the locations where we put what we learn and pray for into action - the rituals for Shabbat and Yom Tov, kashrut, bal tashchit (not destroying the natural environment), tzedakah (charity), gemilut chasadim (deeds of lovingkindness) - any and all of the commandments. In short, wherever you are is the best place for practicing Judaism and encountering God and improving the world around you, so long as you put forth the effort to make it good.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Richard A. Flom
Congregation Beth Meier
Studio City, CA
Visit me on Facebook
Twitter: @DrahcirMolf
"שתיקה כהודאה דמיא"
"Silence in the face of wrongdoing is consent.”
BT Yevamot 87b
-------------------------------------------------------
Candle lighting: 7:49 pm

Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Tuesday – Lunch and Learn – 12:00 noon. This is a Fast Day, 17 Tammuz, but there will be lunch for those not fasting.
Friday, July 14 – Family Shabbat Evening Service – 7:30 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, July 15 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, HaRav Tzvi Hersh ben Frimet, Sarah bat Devorah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky (Serach bat Miriam), Jerry Daniels, Bryon Fendrich (Berel ben Chanah), Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Dena Kosche (Dena bat Sarah Emanu), Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek (Zlata Malkah bat Sarah Emanu), Toni Linder, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), and Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina).

Please let me know if there is anyone you would like to add to this list or if there is anyone who may be removed from this list.

My weekly divrei torah are available through free subscription to the Cyber Torah e-mail list. No salesman will call!
Cyber Torah list management:
To subscribe to Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net  with the heading “Subscribe Cyber Torah”.
To unsubscribe from Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Unsubscribe Cyber Torah”.
To dedicate a Cyber Torah in honor of a simchah in memory of a loved one or for a refuah shleimah, send an e-mail to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Dedicate Cyber Torah” and provide details in the message body.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

TAKE NOTE

Parashat Chukkat
7 Tammuz 5777 / 30 June – 1 July 2017
Torah: Numbers 19:1 – 22:1
Haftarah: Judges 11:1-33

Dedications and calendar follow below. For complete listings and lots of other information about our community, see our web site at: http://bethmeier.org

Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
-------------------------------------------------------
TAKE NOTE

"The Kohen will take cedar wood, hyssop and crimson thread, and throw them into the burning of the cow." Numbers 19:6

From the description of the inexplicable ritual of the Red Heifer, Rabbi Simchah Bunim of Pshischa teaches: The cedar alludes to haughtiness, while the hyssop implies humility. Every person must have a note in one pocket which says, "I am but dust and ashes" (Genesis 18:27), and in the other pocket one must have a note which says, "For my sake was the world created" (Sanhedrin 37). The wise person knows when to use which.

Yechiel of Alexander explains that when the Yetzer Hara, the Evil Impulse, wishes to build us up, in order to make us arrogant and self-centered, we should read the first note. When the Evil Impulse wants to bring us down in sadness and depression over our failures, we should read the second note.

But what about the crimson thread? Perhaps we should tie one around a finger, to serve as a reminder that the notes are in our pockets. The thread has a unique characteristic - unlike the cedar and the hyssop, the crimson thread was created by human beings. This means we have power - the power to resist both arrogance and despair, the power to improve, the power to control our own destinies - as long as we are mindful of what those destinies might be.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Richard A. Flom
Congregation Beth Meier
Studio City, CA
Visit me on Facebook
Twitter: @DrahcirMolf
שתיקה כהודאה דמיא
"Silence in the face of wrongdoing is consent.”
BT Yevamot 87b
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Candle lighting: 7:50 pm

Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Tuesday – Happy Birthday, United States of America! NO Lunch and Learn – resume July 11.
Friday, July 7 – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, July 8 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, HaRav Tzvi Hersh ben Frimet, Sarah bat Devorah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky (Serach bat Miriam), Jerry Daniels, Bryon Fendrich (Berel ben Chanah), Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Dena Kosche (Dena bat Sarah Emanu), Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek (Zlata Malkah bat Sarah Emanu), Toni Linder, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), and Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina).

Please let me know if there is anyone you would like to add to this list or if there is anyone who may be removed from this list.

My weekly divrei torah are available through free subscription to the Cyber Torah e-mail list. No salesman will call!
Cyber Torah list management:
To subscribe to Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net  with the heading “Subscribe Cyber Torah”.
To unsubscribe from Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Unsubscribe Cyber Torah”.
To dedicate a Cyber Torah in honor of a simchah in memory of a loved one or for a refuah shleimah, send an e-mail to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Dedicate Cyber Torah” and provide details in the message body.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

ON BEING AND DOING

Parashat Korach
30 Sivan 5777 / 23-24 June 2017
Torah: Numbers 16:1 - 18:32
Maftir: Numbers 28:9-15
Haftarah (Shabbat Rosh Chodesh): Isaiah 66:1-24, 23

Dedications and calendar follow below. For complete listings and lots of other information about our community, see our web site at: http://www.bethmeier.org/

Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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ON BEING AND DOING

"They gathered together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, 'It is too much for you! For all of the assembly - all of them - are holy, and the Lord is among them; why do you lord yourselves over the congregation of the Lord?'" (Numbers 16:3)

Korach and his fellow rebels offer this challenge to the leadership of Moses and Aaron. What makes them holier than everybody else? Korach seems to have a point. After all, God did say to all of the Israelites that "you will be holy for I, the Lord your God, am holy." (Leviticus 19:2) Even before the giving of the Torah at Sinai, God had told them, "You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy people." (Exodus 19:6)

The error that Korach and his followers make is that they didn't hear God as clearly as they thought. In the Exodus and Leviticus texts, God spoke in the future tense - "you will (or shall) be holy". It can be viewed as either a promise of future holiness, or as a commandment to become holy. How might holiness be accomplished? By observing God's commandments, of course.

Korach thinks that merely by being a Jew, he has done enough, he is holy. So it is with too many of us. We think that it is enough merely to be a Jew. As Korach fatally learns, to really be a Jew, to really achieve the holiness that God promises us, requires not passivity, but action - Jewish action. One can not simply "be" - one must “do".

There are many paths to the kind of holiness the Torah is talking about. One can kasher one's kitchen or attend prayer services more often or make Shabbat at home regularly. One might attend Jewish education classes or read more Jewish books. It certainly means taking responsibility for one’s actions (or inaction). But in Judaism, it is equally certain that mere belief is not enough. Deeds speak far louder than professions of faith.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Richard A. Flom
Congregation Beth Meier
Studio City, CA
Visit me on Facebook
Twitter: @DrahcirMolf
"From the place where we are absolutely right, flowers will never grow in the spring."
"מן המקום שבו אנו צודקים לא יצמחו לעולם פרחים באביב"
Yehuda Amichai
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Candle lighting: 7:50 pm

Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Temple B’nai Hayim Women’s Rosh Chodesh Shabbat Morning Service – 9:30 am. Note the time. Men, be there too‼ We will not have a separate service at Beth Meier this Shabbat morning – we’ll be at B’nai Hayim! B’nai Hayim is located at: 4302 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91403 (south of Ventura Blvd.)
Tuesday – NO Lunch and Learn – resume July 11.
Friday, June 30 – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, July 1 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.

This d'var torah is offered in honor of the women of Temple B’nai Hayim and Congregation Beth Meier, who are taking on Jewish action.

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, Sarah bat Devorah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky (Serach bat Miriam), Jerry Daniels, Bryon Fendrich (Berel ben Chanah), Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Dena Kosche (Dena bat Sarah Emanu), Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek (Zlata Malkah bat Sarah Emanu), Toni Linder, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), and Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina).

Please let me know if there is anyone you would like to add to this list or if there is anyone who may be removed from this list.

My weekly divrei torah are available through free subscription to the Cyber Torah e-mail list. No salesman will call!
Cyber Torah list management:
To subscribe to Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net  with the heading “Subscribe Cyber Torah”.
To unsubscribe from Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Unsubscribe Cyber Torah”.
To dedicate a Cyber Torah in honor of a simchah in memory of a loved one or for a refuah shleimah, send an e-mail to: ravflom@sbcglobal.net with the heading “Dedicate Cyber Torah” and provide details in the message body.

THE WALK OF LIFE

20 Av 5777 / 11-12 August 2017 Parashat Ekev Torah: Deuteronomy 7:12 - 11:25 Haftarah: Isaiah 49:14 - 51:3 (Second Haftarah of Consol...