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.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY! OR HAVE YOU?

23 Sivan 5777 / June 16-17 2017
Parashat Sh’lach Lekha
Torah: Numbers 13:1-15:41
Haftarah: Joshua 2:1-24

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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YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY! OR HAVE YOU?

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "Send for yourself men to scout out the Land of Canaan that I give to the Israelites; send one man from each of the ancestral tribes, each man a prince." Moses sent them from the Wilderness of Paran at the word of God; all of them heads of the Israelites. Numbers 13:1-3

Rashi: Why does God say "send for yourself" and not simply "send"? "I am not commanding you - if you want, you may send."

Rabbi Ephraim of Lunshitz (1550 - 1619), author of the noted commentary Klei Yakar, takes Rashi one step further, and questions another word. He asks, why doesn't God want Moses to send "men"? He recalls the Rabbinic teaching that the Israelite men despised the Land, and wanted to return to Egypt. But the Israelite women loved the Land so much, their demand for an inheritance led to a change in the law as it was understood at that time (the daughters of Tzeloph'chad - Numbers 27). And because God knew what was going to happen (the spies would spread fear among the Israelites), He would have preferred that Moses send women. The women would have kept better faith with God, and not spread lies about the Land.

Historically, Jewish women were denied the right to observe many of the mitzvot, such as tallit and tefillin, or to engage in many Jewish rites of passage, like b'nai mitzvah. At the same time, as we see here, there was a strong undercurrent of Rabbinic teaching regarding the spiritual superiority and commitment of Jewish women.

The Torah, and all Jewish learning, is more of an open book than ever. There are a larger number of Jewish learning opportunities, more diverse in scope, than ever before. Jewish learning is for everyone, not a limited number of yeshivah bochers. How ironic it is, then, that now that more Jews than ever are free to practice Judaism without fear or hardship, a diminishing percentage of Jews (men and women) are taking advantage of these opportunities. In truth, like the Land of Israel, the landscape of modern Judaism indeed flows with milk and honey. Spy out the land, eat of its fruit, and be satisfied!

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
-------------------------------------------------------
Candle lighting: 7:48 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.
Friday, June 23 – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, June 24 – Temple B’nai Hayim Women’s Rosh Chodesh Shabbat Morning Service. All women-led service – leyning, aliyot, other readings available. Contact Carol Herskowitz at (818) 708-1906 for details. Men, be there too‼ We will not have a separate service at Beth Meier on this date – we’ll be at B’nai Hayim!

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.

Friday, June 9, 2017

SHARE SOME SPIRIT!

16 Sivan 5777 / 9-10 June 2017
Parashat B’ha’alot’kha
Torah: Numbers 8:1 - 12:16
Haftarah: Zekhariah 2:14 - 4:7

Dedications and a Calendar of Upcoming Events follow. For a full calendar and lots of other information about our community, visit:

Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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SHARE SOME SPIRIT!

'And the Lord said to Moses: "Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be elders of the people, and officers over them; and take them to the tent of meeting, and they will stand there with you. And I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take from the spirit that is upon you and put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, and you shall not bear it alone."' Numbers 11:16-17

At Exodus 18:13-26, Jethro (Moses’ father-in-law) had observed Moses' difficulty in judging the people by himself, and he advised Moses to delegate responsibility among a number of people. Moses did so. It is now a year later, and Moses kvetches to God about the burdens of sole leadership. God tells Moses He will distribute the burden of leadership by giving others the same type of spirit that Moses has. Is Moses dense? Did he forget what Jethro had told him?

No. In the short run, merely telling other people to do some of the work can be effective. But over the long haul, unless they have the same spirit as their leader, they falter. Moses had the spirit, but he could not or would not share it with others. God had to give some of that spirit to others, so they could help Moses bear the burdens of leadership.

There is a lesson here for rabbis, teachers, board members, religious and secular leaders of all types, and parents, too. We sometimes experience the failure or the inability to share our spirit with others. No matter how enthusiastic we might be about something, if we can't get others involved, it can turn into a burden. The difference here is that we can't expect God to do it for us, take some of that spirit and give it to others - we have to do that ourselves. But it's not only the ultimate leaders who have the responsibility of sharing their spirit.

The people to whom that responsibility was given (including Moses), the people suggested by Jethro, never took the opportunity to exercise that responsibility. They did not seize the spirit of the moment.
Leaders need to share their spirit, and subordinates and members of their organizations have the primary responsibility of taking that spirit and distributing it even more. Delegating responsibility isn't enough; it often takes leadership in the form of enthusiastic sharing of spirit that really gets things done. Enthusiasm is infectious. Leaders need to be both inspired and inspiring to get the mission accomplished!

Have a spirited Shabbat!

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
-------------------------------------------------------
Candle lighting: 7:45 pm

Friday – Family Shabbat Evening Service – 7:30pm. A joyful guitar-accompanied service with Kerry Katz. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Tuesday – Lunch and Learn – 12:00 noon.
Friday, June 16 – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, June 17 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Saturday, June 24 – Temple B’nai Hayim Women’s Rosh Chodesh Shabbat Morning Service. All women-led service – leyning, aliyot, other readings available. Contact Carol Herskowitz at (818) 708-1906 for details. Men, be there too‼ We will not have a separate service at Beth Meier on this date – we’ll be at B’nai Hayim!

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.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

MASTERY OF MONEY, MASTERY OF SELF

Parashat Naso
9 Sivan 5777 / 2-3 June 2017
Torah: Numbers 4:21 – 7:89
Haftarah: Judges 13:2-25 

Dedications and a Calendar of Upcoming Events follow. For a full calendar and lots of other information about our community, visit:


Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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MASTERY OF MONEY, MASTERY OF SELF

"Each person's holy things shall be his; whatever a person gives to the priest, it shall be his." Numbers 5:10

The Talmud (Berakhot 63a), citing this verse, suggests that one who does not donate to the sanctuary ultimately ends up needy, while one who does donate becomes wealthy. There are several ways to look at this. One might read the Talmud literally; it also says that for the one who donates, "much money will be his" (they are talking about more than tax breaks!). Perhaps the Talmud is referring to spiritual need and wealth - the failure to give results in spiritual emptiness, but donating creates spiritual fulfillment.  

Rabbi Y.Y. Tronk of Kutno says that a miser is not the master of his money; only someone who is willing to part with his money is the master of it. Only by giving it away does he show that the money is "his"; i.e., it is under his control. Of course, the ability to give up that which is permitted and desirable demonstrates self-control as well.

Some use a piggy bank to save money for their own benefit; 
but a tzedakah box, aka a pushke, is for saving money to benefit the community
 

Judaism does not prohibit the accumulation of wealth, nor does it require self-denial. But it does prohibit the complete retention of wealth and it does require self-control. So, all of the viewpoints are correct. When we make donations to our synagogue, we literally make our community wealthier. We also assure that when we require the synagogue to fill our spiritual needs, it will be there for us. Nor can we deny the inner sense of well-being that comes from donating to an institution we believe in, for we are gaining something of value as well. It feels good to know that we are helping to build and maintain something greater than ourselves. Finally, in doing so, we demonstrate that we truly are the masters of our selves.  

When we donate holy things for a holy purpose, we increase our own holiness.

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
-------------------------------------------------------
Candle lighting: 7:41 pm

Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Sunday – Religious School Culmination – 10:00 am – 12:30 pm. Pizza and other fun stuff will be served. Everyone is invited to celebrate another year of educating our children!
Tuesday – Lunch and Learn – 12:00 noon.
Friday, June 9 – Family Shabbat Evening Service – 7:30pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, June 10 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Saturday, June 24 – Temple B’nai Hayim Women’s Rosh Chodesh Shabbat Morning Service. All women-led service – leyning, aliyot, other readings available. Contact Carol Herskowitz at (818) 708-1906 for details. Men, be there too‼ We will not have a separate service at Beth Meier on this date – we’ll be at B’nai Hayim!

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.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

THE TEST

Parashat Bamidbar
2 Sivan 5777 / 26-27 May 2017
Torah: Numbers 1:1 – 4:20
Haftarah: Hosea 2:1-22

Shavuot - 6-7 Sivan 5777 / 31 May– 1 June 2017
Torah (Day 1): Exodus 19:1 - 20:23
         (Day 2): Deuteronomy 14:22 - 16:17
Maftir (both days): Numbers 28:26-31
Haftarah (Day 1): Ezekiel 1:1-28; 3:12
             (Day 2): Habakkuk 2:20 - 3:19
Additional reading: Book of Ruth

Dedications and a Calendar of Upcoming Events follow. For a full calendar and lots of other information about our community, visit:


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

“The Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after their exodus from the land of Egypt, saying.” Numbers 1:1

This parashah, and the book of the Torah named for it, is called “Numbers” in English. But in Hebrew, it is “Bamidbar”, which means “in the wilderness”. The census taken in this parashah, the numbering, is done in the wilderness. The wilderness is a fearful place, with dangers both physical and spiritual. It is a place to be tested, to stand up and be counted.

The giving of the Torah will be commemorated on the holiday of Shavuot next week. In the Midrash, Bamidbar Rabbah, it is taught that the Torah was given in fire, in water and in the desert. In a sense, this wasteland where our ancestors ultimately will spend 40 years, serves as a forge. Just as a sword is hammered and shaped, plunged into fire and water and sand, and tested for durability, so were the Israelites.

Often, people having a life cycle event, whether a bar/bat mitzvah, wedding, graduation, or even a divorce or a death, feel they have passed a test. While that may be true, it is not the end, but the beginning. Now it is time to do something positive with the test results, and more especially with the knowledge and experience by which the passing grade was accomplished. It is life itself that is the ultimate test. And the Torah, given to our ancestors and to us, is the study guide.

Good luck on your exams!

Shabbat Shalom! Chag Shavuot Sameach!

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:
Friday - 7:37 pm
Tuesday – 7:40 pm
Wednesday – 8:42 pm – light memorial candle after the holiday candles

Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Sunday – NO Religious School or Adult Hebrew – Memorial Day weekend.
Monday – Memorial Day.
Tuesday NO Lunch and Learn – resume June 6. Tikkun Leil Shavuot Study Session – 9:00-11:00 pm. Join us at Congregation Beth Meier for Torah study with Rabbi Jason van Leeuwen of Temple B’nai Hayim and Rabbi Flom. There will be cheesecake! And other refreshments, of course!
Wednesday – First Day Shavuot Morning Service – 9:30 am – at Temple B’nai Hayim
Thursday, June 1 – Second Day Shavuot Morning Service, with Yizkor – 10:00 am – at Congregation Beth Meier
Friday, June 2 – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, June 3 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Sunday, June 4 – Religious School Culmination – 10:00 am – 12:30 pm. Pizza and other fun stuff will be served. Everyone is invited to celebrate another year of educating our children!  
Saturday, June 24 – Temple B’nai Hayim Women’s Rosh Chodesh Shabbat Morning Service. All women-led service – leyning, aliyot, other readings available. Contact Carol Herskowitz at (818) 708-1906 for details. Men, be there too‼ We will not have a separate service at Beth Meier on this date – we’ll be at B’nai Hayim!

This d'var torah is offered in memory of my beloved father, Martin Flom, whose yahrzeit falls on Thursday, June 1 (7 Sivan). Y’hi zikhro barukh – his memory is a blessing.

This d'var torah is offered in memory of my beloved grandfather, Jacob Slome, whose yahrzeit falls on Friday, June 2 (8 Sivan). Y’hi zikhro barukh – his memory is a blessing.

This d'var torah is offered in memory of all American military personnel who fell in service to our country.

This d'var torah is offered in memory of the murder victims of Manchester, England.

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), Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina), and all those injured in the Manchester terrorist attack.

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, May 18, 2017

WORKING THE WORK; LIVING THE LIFE

Parashat Behar-Bechukotai (Chazak!)
24 Iyar 5777 / 19-20 May 2017
Torah: Leviticus 25:1 - 27:34
Haftarah: Jeremiah 16:19 - 17:14

Dedications and a Calendar of Upcoming Events follow. For a full calendar and lots of other information about our community, visit:


Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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WORKING THE WORK; LIVING THE LIFE

“If you walk in My statutes; and observe My commandments and do them.” Leviticus 26:3

Rashi: “If you walk in My statutes” - one might think this means fulfilling the commandments. But “observe My commandments and do them” already refers to fulfilling them. How do I explain “if you walk in My statutes”? That you should toil in the Torah.

Most commentators understand Rashi to mean that we should be toiling at Torah study. In a small segment of the Orthodox community, virtually all manner of gainful employment is eschewed in favor of full-time Torah study. However, this is not necessarily the way in which the Rabbis of old understood the verse.

Rabban Gamaliel, the son of Rabbi Judah the Prince, taught: “An excellent thing is Torah study combined with a worldly occupation, for the labor demanded of them both makes sin forgotten. All study of Torah without work must in the end be futile and lead to sin.” Pirkei Avot 2:2

Rabbi Moshe Elyakim of Koznitz understands the issue in the following way: we are not simply to be constantly studying Torah. Rather, the purpose of study is to affect the way we earn our livelihood and everything we do. All of our work and all of our lives should be guided by the Torah and conducted in the spirit of its commandments. When working in the field, if one does not mix seeds, and if one leaves the corners and the gleanings for the poor, then one is “toiling in the Torah.” If business people uphold the Torah’s standards of ethics in the workplace, they are “toiling in the Torah.” When a professional or home baker “takes challah” from each loaf, that is “toiling in the Torah.”

Any profession, any work, virtually any activity involves specific commandments. If you work and live for a higher purpose, if you incorporate the Torah’s values into each and every worldly pursuit, you are toiling in the Torah, and you will reap what you sow - a life of decency and spiritual reward.

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: 7:32 pm

Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Sunday – Religious School – 9:30 am. Adult Hebrew – 10:00 am. Formal Friendship Tea – 12:00 pm – Sorry, reservations are closed.
Tuesday - Lunch and Learn – 12:00 noon.
Friday, May 26 – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, May 27 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Sunday, May 28 – NO Religious School or Adult Hebrew – Memorial Day weekend.
Tuesday, May 30 – Tikkun Leil Shavuot Study Session – 9:00-11:00 pm. With refreshments, of course!
Wednesday, May 31 – First Day Shavuot Morning Service – 9:30 am – at Temple B’nai Hayim
Thursday, June 1 – Second Day Shavuot Morning Service, with Yizkor – 10:00 am – at Congregation Beth Meier
Saturday, June 24 – Temple B’nai Hayim Women’s Rosh Chodesh Shabbat Morning Service. All women-led service – leyning, aliyot, other readings available. Contact Carol Herskowitz at (818) 708-1906 for details. Men, be there too‼ We will not have a separate service at Beth Meier on this date – we’ll be at B’nai Hayim!

This d'var torah is offered in honor of Emma Dryden Snyder, chanting haftarah for the first time this Shabbat. Mazal tov!

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, Harav Tzvi Hirsh ben Frimet, Kyree Beacham, 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), Annabelle Flom (Chanah Bella bat Kreina), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Elaine Kleiger, 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.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

UNCLE SAM WANTS.... YOUR EXTRA FOOD!

17 Iyar 5777 / 12-13 May 2017
Parashat Emor                                                  
Torah: Leviticus 21:1 - 24:23
Haftarah: Ezekiel 44:15-31

Dedications and a Calendar of Upcoming Events follow. For a full calendar and lots of other information about our community, visit:

Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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UNCLE SAM WANTS.... YOUR EXTRA FOOD!

"When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not completely reap all the way to the corners of your field, and you shall not gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger; I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 23:22

In the Book of Ruth, which we will read in three weeks on the festival of Shavuot, we see this commandment in action. Ruth follows the harvesters in the field of Boaz, and gathers food for herself and her mother-in-law, Naomi. The requirement that the corners and gleanings be left for the poor to collect, rather than simply given to them, is important; it gives them the dignity of gathering it, and thereby providing for themselves. It also demonstrates that the food is not really the farmer's to give away. "For the land is Mine," says God, "for you are sojourners and residents with Me." (Lev. 25:23) God created it; God owns it; we are only workers in the Master's vineyard. And since that is the case, we should take seriously God's commandment to share with those who are less fortunate than we are.

Well, few of us are farmers today, but we reap God's bounty every time we go to the market, every time we open the refrigerator. And if we are not prepared to let strangers go picking through our pantries, we can at least give food to them, or to people who know how to distribute food to those who are hungry.

This Saturday, mail carriers throughout the United States will be "stamping out hunger", collecting cans, bags and boxes of non-perishable groceries. The food will be distributed to local food banks and soup kitchens. This is a no-brainer. All you have to do is leave groceries by your mailbox and the carrier will take them when s/he delivers your mail. One item or fifty, it will all help alleviate some people's hunger for a time.



But there are poor and needy people who are hungry at other times of the year, not just when we run annual food drives. So at home, or at your synagogue or church or mosque, or at school, set up a box, and put some food items in it once in a while. Encourage your friends and family to do the same. When it's full, take it over to the nearest community food bank or soup kitchen, and give people the corners and the gleanings of your field. Here at Beth Meier we have a box that is constantly filled and delivered to SOVA, which is also a local beneficiary of the Postal Service drive. We learned in last week’s parashah, “You shall love your neighbor, who is like you.” (Lev. 19:18) When you perform the dual mitzvot of “peah” (corner) and “leket” (gleaning), you fulfill the mitzvah of love as well, for then your neighbor can do as you do: eat and be satisfied (Deuteronomy 11:15).

Have a Blessed Shabbat!

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: 7:27 pm

Friday – Family Shabbat Evening Service – 7:30 pm. Guitar-accompanied sing-along service with Cantor Kerry Katz. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Sunday – L’ag B’omer. NO Religious School or Adult Education – Happy Mother’s Day!
Tuesday - Lunch and Learn – 12:00 noon.
Friday, May 19 – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, May 20 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Sunday, May 21 – Formal Friendship Tea – 12:30 pm.  Everyone is invited! Reservations no later than May 16, please. Cost $25. Contact the Beth Meier office for details.
Saturday, June 24 – Temple B’nai Hayim Women’s Rosh Chodesh Shabbat Morning Service. All women-led service – leyning, aliyot, other readings available. Contact Carol Herskowitz at (818) 708-1906 for details. Men, be there too‼

This d'var torah is offered in honor of mothers!

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, Harav Tzvi Hirsh ben Frimet, Kyree Beacham, 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), Annabelle Flom (Chanah Bella bat Kreina), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Elaine Kleiger, 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.

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)...