Thursday, January 12, 2017

HOW AND WHY TO BLESS THE CHILDREN

Parashat Vayechi
Torah: Genesis 47:28 - 50:26 (Chazak, chazak, v’nitchazeik)
Haftarah: 1 Kings 2:1-12
16 Tevet 5777 / 13-14 January 2017

For more info about our community, visit our website:


Congregation Beth Meier has developed a GoFundMe page:


Please visit the page and consider a donation. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Dedications and Calendar of Events follow.

Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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HOW AND WHY TO BLESS THE CHILDREN

And (Jacob, aka Israel) blessed them that day, saying, "In you shall Israel bless, saying, 'May God make you as Ephraim and Menashe'" ... Genesis 48:20

This is the beginning of the blessing over sons. For both sons and daughters, the rest of the blessing is the same - the threefold blessing of the Kohanim (Numbers 6:24-26). Why do we start the blessing of the sons this way? What's so special about Joseph's sons? Indeed, the blessing for daughters starts out, "May God make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah." Why not bless sons with "Abraham, Isaac and Jacob"?

The Yalkut Yehudah addresses this, in part. He says that Jacob was a prophet who foresaw the exile of his descendants. He knew that their Jewishness was endangered. Therefore, he said that sons should be blessed to be like Ephraim and Menashe - the first Jewish men who were born, raised and educated in exile (Egypt), in spite of which they remained faithful Jews (Jacob says, "Like Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine." - Gen. 48:5) And here we are today, keeping the faith, though we are born, raised and educated outside of the Land of Israel.

But what about daughters? Why are they blessed in the names of the four ancestral mothers? I believe it has to do with two points. First, they also were born outside the Land of Israel, in Haran. Second, Jewish tradition teaches that mothers are the ones who instill religious practice and belief in children, because they are their first teachers. The Midrash teaches that it was the women who kept the men's spirits up during the days of slavery in Egypt. Finally, according to tradition, it is the women who maintain the Jewishness of the home, particularly with regard to kashrut and Shabbat observance (e.g., Sarah was the first to kindle Shabbat lights). So our daughters are blessed in the names of the Matriarchs.

Of course, all of this is irrelevant - unless you make it a regular practice to bless your children on Shabbat and Yom Tov evenings, and to follow the teaching of the Yalkut Yehudah! Whether you are like Ephraim and Menashe, or like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, bless your children Shabbat evening - keep the faith, baby!

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: 4:47 pm

Friday – Family Shabbat Evening Service – 7:30 pm. A song-filled, guitar-accompanied service with Cantor Kerry Katz. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Sunday – Religious School – 9:30 am. Adult Hebrew class – 10:00 am.
Tuesday – Lunch and Learn – 12:00 noon.
Friday, 20 January – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, 21 January – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Sunday, 22 January – Religious School – 9:30 am. Adult Hebrew – 10:00 am. Game Day is being rescheduled.

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, Zehavah B’rakhah bat Leah, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, Sarah bat Devorah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky, Jerry Daniels, Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Beth Goldstein, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Fouad Kay (Yehoshua ben Salima), Bonnie Kleiger, Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek, Toni Linder, Roy Miller, Carol Rosen (Tsharna Aliza bat Leah), Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina), and Naomi Zimmermann (Naomi bat Yorma).

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, January 6, 2017

DISHONOR BEFORE DEATH?

Parashat Vayiggash
Torah: Genesis 44:18 - 47:27
Haftarah: Ezekiel 37:15-28
9 Tevet 5777 / 6-7 January 2017

For more info about our community, visit our website:


Congregation Beth Meier has developed a GoFundMe page:


Please visit the page and consider a donation. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Dedications and Calendar of Events follow.

Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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DISHONOR BEFORE DEATH?

"And Joseph could not restrain himself before all who stood by him, and he called out, 'Remove everyone from before me!' So no one remained with him when Joseph revealed himself to his brothers." Genesis 45:1

Rashi - He was unable to bear that Egyptians should stand by him and hear the humiliation of his brothers when he revealed himself.

A modern commentator, Z. Ron wonders how Rashi could possibly know what Joseph was thinking. Since he was the viceroy, maybe he did not want to embarrass himself before the Egyptians when he began crying. I might add that perhaps he would not want the Egyptians to know that this disheveled band of starving shepherds was his kin. The answer, according to Z. Ron, is in the next verse - "And he wept loudly, and Egypt heard, and the house of Pharaoh heard." Thus, he says, Rashi is right - Joseph chose to embarrass himself rather than his brothers.

Jewish tradition teaches that publicly embarrassing another person is a form of murder. That's why we have the phrase "character assassination". Words, like arrows, cannot be recalled once they go forth. Joseph chose to suffer whatever dishonor there might have been in displaying weakness, rather than have his brothers suffer the "death" of public humiliation.

As it turns out, there was no embarrassment for Joseph at all. That Joseph's brothers had come "... was pleasing in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants." (45:16) Sparing others from humiliation, and risking it for oneself, reaps respect, not dishonor. We gain respect by respecting the dignity of others.

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: 4:40 pm

Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows. Our guest Torah reader and darshan will be Rabbi Gary Charlestein – Barukh haba!  
Sunday – NO Religious School or Adult Hebrew class – both resume 1/15. Movie, Pizza and Ice Cream Bar Night – 7:00 pm. We’ll be showing “Defiance ”, the true story of the Bielski brothers during WW II.
Tuesday – Lunch and Learn – 12:00 noon.
Friday, 13 January – Family Shabbat Evening Service – 7:30 pm. A song-filled, guitar-accompanied service with Cantor Kerry Katz. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, 14 January – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Sunday, 15 January – Religious School – 9:30 am. Adult Hebrew – 10:00 am.

The congregation extends condolences to Dena Kosche on the passing of her father, Richard Guerry. May his memory be a blessing.

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, Sarah bat Devorah, Zehavah B’rakhah bat Leah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky, Jerry Daniels, Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Beth Goldstein, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Fouad Kay (Yehoshua ben Salima), Bonnie Kleiger, Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek, Toni Linder, Roy Miller, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina), and Naomi Zimmermann (Naomi bat Yorma).

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, December 29, 2016

NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT

Parashat Miketz
Torah: Genesis 41:1 – 44:17
Maftir: Numbers 7:48-53
Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14 – 4:7
2 Tevet 5777 / 30-31 December 2016

For more info about our community, visit our website:


Congregation Beth Meier has developed a GoFundMe page:

https://www.gofundme.com/saveourschul Please visit the page and consider a donation. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Dedications and Calendar of Events follow.

Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT

"Now let Pharaoh seek out a discerning and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt." Gen. 41:33

Rabbi Shalom Schwadron asks this question: Why was a "discerning and wise man" needed to oversee the collection of provisions during the seven years of plenty?

He suggests that gathering and saving food during a time of abundance in preparation for a famine in the future requires true wisdom and understanding, because it is against human nature. He quotes the Talmud (Tamid 32a): "Who is wise? One who has foresight." What is more, Joseph had to convince Pharaoh and the entire Egyptian nation to share in this foresight, which required even further wisdom on his part.

In our own lives, we often look back at missed opportunities. For example, when our children are young, we have many chances for teaching them about our heritage. There are Shabbat and Holy Day observances, religious school education, and what the educators call "teaching moments" which can arise at any time. Once they are gone, they are gone forever. It's true that Shabbat comes every week, and the festivals come annually, but _this_ Shabbat and _this_ religious school class will never come again.

As we and our children grow older, the missed opportunities begin to pile up. Work, school, activities and the like begin to take over, and the religious and spiritual education begins to take a back seat. At some point, we look back and tell ourselves that we know too little and that it is too late to get the education. We begin to wonder why our children know so little, and do not practice the religion of our ancestors.

Of course, it's never too late to learn! Nevertheless, we need to bank learning and practice now, for the famine of opportunity which we know will come. The difference between us and Joseph is that he knew exactly when the famine would begin. We are not that wise. But we are wise enough to know that there is no time like the present to begin to add to our stores of knowledge and observance. In doing so, we avoid spiritual starvation in the lean years to come.

Chag Urim Sameach and 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: 4:35 pm

Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush lunch in honor of our wedding anniversary and the bar mitzvah anniversary of Robert Flom follows services.
Sunday – NO Religious School or Adult Hebrew class – both resume 1/15.
Tuesday – Lunch and Learn – 12:00 noon.
Sunday, 1/8 – Movie, Pizza and Ice Cream Bar Night – 7:00 pm. We’ll be showing “Defiance”, the true story of the Bielski brothers during WW II.

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, HaRav Yisrael Shimon ben Liebah Breina, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, Sarah bat Devorah, Zehavah B’rakhah bat Leah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky, Jerry Daniels, Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Beth Goldstein, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Fouad Kay (Yehoshua ben Salima), Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek, Toni Linder, Roy Miller, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina), and Naomi Zimmermann (Naomi bat Yorma).

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, December 21, 2016

PRINCE OR SLAVE?

Parashat Vayeishev
Torah: Genesis 37:1 – 40:23
Haftarah: Amos 2:6 – 3:8
24 Kislev 5777 / 23-24 December 2016


CHAG URIM SAMEACH! HAPPY HANUKKAH!


For more info about our community, visit our website: http://bethmeier.org

Congregation Beth Meier has developed a GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/saveourschul Please visit the page and consider a donation. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Dedications and Calendar of Events follow.

Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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PRINCE OR SLAVE?

"And it came to pass after these things that the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker had sinned against their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry at his two princes - the prefect of the cupbearers and the prefect of the bakers." Genesis 40:1-2

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch says that the reference to the two courtiers as "princes" is mockery. To those who served beneath them, they were "princes", wielding great power; but to the king, they were nothing more than slaves with fancy titles. He threw them into prison for no apparent reason. The cupbearer and baker failed to understand that, when one's position is dependent solely upon the whim of one's superior, one's position is, at best, precarious.

So it is all too often with people who attain positions of power granted by another. They clothe themselves in self-importance. The opinions of those who work for them are irrelevant. These "princes" believe that direct contact with the king somehow makes them as powerful as the king.

The most desirable community, it seems to me, is one where every member, whether leader or not, fully understands that they are serving a higher purpose; where there is no self-aggrandizement, no delusion of grandeur interfering with their dedication and perseverance. Fortunate is that community whose leaders understand that they are NOT royalty. Equally fortunate are the leaders and workers who serve that community which does not treat them like slaves. (I am thankful to be a member of that kind of community! J) May it be thus for all of us.

Shabbat Shalom! Chag Urim Sameach!

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: 4:31 pm

Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush lunch follows services. First Light of Hanukkah after Shabbat ends – 5:30 pm. Happy Hanukkah!
Sunday – NO Religious School or Adult Hebrew class – both resume 1/15.
Tuesday – NO Lunch and Learn – resume 1/3.
Friday, 12/30 – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm.
Saturday, 12/31 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush lunch follows services.
Sunday, 1/1 – Meshuga Nutcracker – AJU – 2:00 pm.
Sunday, 1/8 – Movie and Ice Cream Bar Night – 7:00 pm.

This d'var torah is offered in honor of my wonderful life partner, Lynn Kronzek, on the occasion of our 36th wedding anniversary this coming Wednesday.

This d'var torah is offered in memory of my uncle, David Flom, whose yahrzeit was on Wednesday, 21 Kislev. Y’hi zikhro liv’rakhah – May his memory be a blessing.

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, HaRav Yisrael Shimon ben Liebah Breina, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, Sarah bat Devorah, Zehavah B’rakhah bat Leah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky, Jerry Daniels, Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Beth Goldstein, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Fouad Kay (Yehoshua ben Salima), Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek, Toni Linder, Roy Miller, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina), and Naomi Zimmermann (Naomi bat Yorma).

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, December 15, 2016

HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?

Parashat Vayishlach
17 Kislev 5777 / 16-17 December 2016
Torah Reading: Genesis 32:4 – 36:43
Haftarah: Obadiah 1:1-21

For more info about our community, visit our website:


Congregation Beth Meier has developed a GoFundMe page: Please visit the page and consider a donation. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!


Dedications and Calendar of Events follow.

Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
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HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?

"Esau said, ‘I have a lot; my brother, let what is yours be yours.’ And Jacob said, ‘… Please take my present that I have brought to you, for God has favored me, and I have everything.’ And he urged him, and he took." Genesis 33:9-11

In his commentary "Kli Yakar", R. Shlomo Ephraim Lunshitz (d. 1619) wonders about this exchange between the brothers. Esau has "a lot" – he is wealthy and powerful. Jacob offers him a gift, saying that he has "everything". Esau accepts, and does not reciprocate. Kli Yakar says that one who says he has "everything" means "what I have is enough for me. I am satisfied with my lot." But one who merely says, "I have a lot" always wants more.

I am certain that virtually everyone reading this e-mail has "a lot". Perhaps we are not wealthy and powerful in the way that Esau was, but we have food, clothing, shelter, modern conveniences, toys of various sorts, etc. How many of us are prepared, like Jacob, to say we have "everything"? Why aren’t we satisfied? Why do we want more? I believe it is because we are unable, or more likely, unwilling, to say, "God has favored me." Without acknowledging that higher source, without opening up our spiritual side to be satisfied with that which God has given us, we will always have "a lot", but never "enough" – let alone “everything”.

Jacob gave a gift to someone who was at least as rich and powerful as he. He had his reasons. For those of us who have “a lot” or “everything”, are we prepared to give some of it up to those who have only a little or perhaps nothing at all - the poor and the hungry and the homeless? When we do, that is even greater testimony that God has favored us.

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: 4:27 pm

Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush lunch follows services.
Sunday – Dreidels, Donuts and Latkes Hanukkah Celebration – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. All are welcome – RSVP appreciated – no charge.
Tuesday – Lunch and Learn – 12:00 noon.
Friday, 12/23 – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm.
Saturday, 12/24 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush lunch follows services.
Sunday, 12/25 – NO Religious School or Adult Hebrew class – both resume 1/15.
Tuesday, 12/27 – NO Lunch and Learn – resume 1/3.
Sunday, 1/1 – Meshuga Nutcracker – AJU – 2:00 pm.
Sunday, 1/8 – Movie and Ice Cream Bar Night – 7:00 pm

Mazal tov to Fran and Stuart Zimmermann on the birth of their grandson.

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, HaRav Yisrael Shimon ben Liebah Breina, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, Sarah bat Devorah, Zehavah B’rakhah bat Leah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky, Jerry Daniels, Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Fouad Kay (Yehoshua ben Salima), Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek, Toni Linder, Roy Miller, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina), Lauren Wheaton (Dafna bat Yorma), and Naomi Zimmermann (Naomi bat Yorma).

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, December 8, 2016

AWESOME HOLY DREAMS

Parashat Vayetze
10 Kislev 5777 / 9-10 December 2016
Torah Reading: Genesis 28:10 – 32:3
Haftarah: Hosea 12:13 – 14:10

For more info about our community, visit our website:


Congregation Beth Meier has developed a GoFundMe page: Please visit the page and consider a donation. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!


Dedications and Calendar of Events follow.

Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
-----------------------------------------------------------
AWESOME HOLY DREAMS

"And Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the Lord is in this place and I, I did not know.' And he was afraid, and he said, 'How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.'" Gen. 28:16-17

Rashi: For had I known, I would not have slept in such a holy place.

Shlomoh of Radomsk: "My I, I did not know." I erased everything that was in me; my self-awareness; ego consciousness; self-intention.

Jacob dreamt of angels going up and down a ladder. He realized that God was beside him, speaking to him, reaffirming the promise made to Abraham and Isaac. Then Jacob awoke. Had Jacob known that the place was holy, he would have slept elsewhere, according to Rashi. But then, perhaps he would not have had the dream. Perhaps God would not have spoken with him, and what would have become of the covenant with Abraham and Isaac? Was it mere ignorance through which Jacob came to sleep in such a holy place? How then did he merit a visitation from God?

Shlomoh of Radomsk, a mid-19th century Polish chasidic rebbe, suggests that it was not ignorance, but rather, intentional and practiced suppression of the ego, through which Jacob merited the dream and the promise. This seems to be the opposite of Rashi. Perhaps not.

By not being self-focused, Jacob became God-focused. Jacob became more attuned to the holiness around him when he stopped thinking of himself as the center of the universe. By living a minimalist physical (outer) life (he was using a rock for a pillow), Jacob maximized his spiritual (inner) life. Read Rashi, then, as, "Had I known (i.e., had I in my egocentric way been looking to know such a place), I would not have been able to sleep in such a holy place."

Holiness and communion with God come not when we look for them as entitlements, but rather, when we recognize the potential for holiness in every place and every person, and empty out our egos in order to become vessels for receiving that holiness.

Have a wonder-filled 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: 4:25 pm

Friday – Early Family Shabbat Evening Service at 6:00 pm, followed by catered Shabbat Dinner at 7:00. Sorry, reservations for the dinner are closed.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush lunch follows services.
Sunday - Religious School – 9:30 am. Adult Hebrew class – 10:00 am.
Tuesday – NO Lunch and Learn this week – resume 12/20.
Friday, 12/16 – Shabbat Evening Service – 7:30 pm.
Saturday, 12/17 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush lunch follows services.
Sunday, 12/18 – Dreidels, Donuts and Latkes Hanukkah Celebration – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. All are welcome – RSVP appreciated – no charge.

This d'var torah is offered in memory of Gail Klar Friedenreich, who passed away on Sunday. Y’hi zikhronah liv’rakhah – May her memory be a blessing.

This d'var torah is offered in memory of my uncle, Daniel Flom, whose yahrzeit falls on Wednesday, 14 Kislev. Y’hi zikhrono liv’rakhah – May his memory be a blessing.

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, HaRav Yisrael Shimon ben Liebah Breina, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, Sarah bat Devorah, Zehavah B’rakhah bat Leah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky, Jerry Daniels, Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Fouad Kay (Yehoshua ben Salima), Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek, Toni Linder, Roy Miller, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina), and Naomi Zimmermann (Naomi bat Yorma).

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”.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

DISEASE OF THE HEART

Parashat Tol’dot
3 Kislev 5777 / 2-3 December 2016
Torah Reading - Genesis 25:19 - 28:9
Haftarah: Malachi 1:1- 2:7

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http://bethmeier.org

Congregation Beth Meier has developed a GoFundMe page: Please visit the page and consider a donation. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

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Dedications and Calendar of Events follow.

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

“And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing that his father had blessed upon (Jacob); and Esau said in his heart, ‘The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.’” Genesis 27:41

Rabbi Jonathan Eibeschutz (17th century) teaches that when a rabbi tells a butcher that a particular animal was improperly slaughtered and therefore not kosher, the butcher accepts the ruling, even though it costs him money. But when two men bring a monetary dispute before a rabbi, the loser will be angry and argue with the rabbi. R. Eibeschutz says that in the case of the butcher, nobody benefits from the ruling, but in the case of the dispute, the winner is awarded money – he gains a benefit. The loser resents the fact of the winner winning more than he resents his loss.

As between Esau and Jacob, he says that Esau is not angry because he lost the blessing from his father, because Esau didn’t want it. He actually got what he wanted – “by your sword shall you live.” Rather, he hated Jacob because Jacob also received something of value from their father.

This idea that we resent those who benefit more than we resent not benefitting is a difficult one to acknowledge, but it is all around us. We see often it in our political and “civil” discourse, couched in the language of racism or class warfare.

“Do not hate your fellow in your heart.” Leviticus 19:17. Failure to follow that simple rule can create a chasm that can never be bridged. Will we ever learn?

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Richard A. Flom
Congregation Beth Meier
Studio City, CA
http://bethmeier.org
Blogging at: http://rav-rich.blogspot.com/
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: 4:25 pm

Friday – DEADLINE for RSVP for Shabbat Dinner on 12/9. Please your reservation by noon. Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush lunch follows services. 
Sunday - Religious School – 9:30 am. Adult Hebrew class – 10:00 am.
Tuesday – Lunch and Learn – 12:00 noon.
Friday, 12/9  Early Family Shabbat Evening Service at 6:00 pm, followed by catered Shabbat Dinner at 7:00. RSVP no later than Friday, December 2.
Saturday, 12/10 – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush lunch follows services. 

This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, HaRav Yisrael Shimon ben Liebah Breina, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, Sarah bat Devorah, Zehavah B’rakhah bat Leah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky, Jerry Daniels, Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman, Fouad Kay (Yehoshua ben Salima), Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek, Toni Linder, Roy Miller, Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina), Hedy Woolf, and Naomi Zimmermann (Naomi bat Yorma).

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.