Shul Bulletin

Announcements Eikev:

  • Please update your family information in the shul database by July 31! Sign in to or send an email to [email protected]. Thank you to our many members that have already participated in this project!!
  • Look out for 5771 membership information to be sent out next week!
  • Call Congregation Levi Yitzchok's Torah on the Line. Over 1,800 different shiurim were listened to last month! Always on call! No computer ever needed! Just call (323) 939-TORAH (8672).
  • Save the date: Men's Taharas HaMishpocha Review with Rabbi Yosef Shusterman. Two Sunday morning sessions on 5 Elul & 12 Elul (August 15 & 22) in Kol Yaakov Yehuda at 10:00 am. More information to follow.
  • Please continue to say tehillim for Mordechai ben Simcha Chaya who is in need of a refua shleima - Kapitel 41.

Shabbos Eikev Schedule:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 7:37 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus with Rabbi Raichik: 9:00 am
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 4:00 pm in Shul
  • Shiur in Pirkei Avos with Rabbi Raichik: 6:50 pm
  • Mincha: 7:35 pm - Pirkei Avos - Perek 5
  • Shabbos Ends: 8:40 pm

Kiddush Sponsors:

  • The Raichik family for the yahrtzeit of their mother Leah bas Avrohom Abele Hakohen. May the Neshomo have an aliya.

The Kiddush for the early Minyan is sponsored by:

  • The Mispallelim of the early minyan in honor of the choson Rachamim (Damoon) Nikaiyn and his upcoming marriage to Miriam Chaim-Levi. May he be zoche to build a binyan aday ad.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yankee Raichik for the yahrtzeit of Yankke's mother Leah bas Avrohom Abele Hakohen. May the Neshomo have an aliya.

Women's Shabbos Shiur/Farbrengen:

At the home of Mrs. Neshe Grossman
366 N Citrus Ave
at 6:30 pm.
Speaker: Rabbi Moshe Levin

Mazal Tov To:

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yisroel Hecht on the marriage of their son Boruch to Mooka Naparstek. Mazal Tov the entire Hecht and Naparstek families.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yosef Mishulovin on the birth of their grandson.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Shimon Benarroch for the upshernish of their grandson Moshe Minkowitz.

Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Mr. Ariel Haratz - 20 Av
  • Levi Yitzchok Perl - 21 Av
  • Rabbi Tzvi Boyarsky - 24 Av
  • Mr. David Diamand - 24 Av
  • Mr. Joel Yachzel - 25 Av
  • Menachem Mendel Perl - 26 Av 

Thank You:

Thank you to all those who volunteered to make siyumim:
Mr. Moshe Fishman, Rabbi Mendy Greenbaum, Rabbi Laser Handelsman, Rabbi Binyomin Hoffman, Rabbi Binyomin Kaplan, Rabbi Lev Cotler, Rabbi Levi Kramer, Rabbi Nachman Kreiman, Rabbi Sender Munitz, Mr. Zev Oster, Rabbi Shimon Raichik and Rabbi Yossi Schneerson.

Weekly Thought - Eikev

Both this week's and last week's parsha, parshas Va'eschanan and parshas Eikev, contain one of the first two chapters of the Shema. In both chapters of the Shema we find the mitzvah of "v'shinantam l'vanecha - you should teach your children". This is the source for the mitzvah of teaching our children the Torah. In parshas Va'eschanan Rashi explains that "l'vanecha to your children" also refers to students. This means that teachers also have a mitzvah to teach their students the Torah.

The Rebbe questions why Rashi interprets "l'vanecha" as students and not its literal meaning of "your sons", referring to children. Also not clear is the purpose of Rashi pointing out this additional aspect of the mitzvah here at all. One of the reasons given is that when a child learns Chumash for the first time it is possible that he will not understand why he and all his friends are in cheder. If the mitzvah is that the father has to teach, why is he not at home studying with his father? Therefore Rashi tells us that students are compared to sons and that teachers are called fathers.

Rashi brings out an additional proof from the pasuk that shows how teachers should view their students like children in the way they teach them. "V'shinantam" means 'sharpness'. Rashi states; "they (the words of the Torah) should be sharp in your mouth to the point that when you are asked about them, you will be able to answer immediately without hesitation". This means that the teacher needs to be involved in teaching each student as a father is with his children, with individual attention. This focus on his development should achieve that each individual student masters his Torah learning.

Where do we find explicitly in the Torah that a teacher is called a father? Rashi comments that it appears in the story of Eliyahu going up to heaven, Elisha shouted, "Father Father, the chariot of Israel.... You are beloved like a father and a mother and your prayers help Klal Yisroel like a chariot and its rider."

The Rebbe explains that this Rashi is an outline for proper education. A teacher must teach his student the subject so well that they well versed in it, and that it be sharp on their tongue. The teacher also needs to give the student the skill to know how to learn on his own.  He is obligated to prepare his student so that he have the ability to resolve his own questions or the questions he is asked. Even if the teacher gives the tools and general guidelines, that is not sufficient. Many times the student will not feel secure in using these guidelines. The teacher must guide the student where each rule is used and provide examples. This needs to continue until the student knows how to apply the general rules he learned from the teacher. Only then has the teacher fulfilled his obligation of teaching the child.

In Parshas Eikev it says v'leimadtem osom (11:19). Rashi says this means the father's obligation to teach his child is; "From the time that the son is able to speak". "The first words you teach him are; "Torah ziva lonu Moshe" so that this develops his speech". "When an infant begin to speak, his father should converse with him in Loshon Kodesh and teach him the Torah." The father has to educate his children from their youth and teach them the Torah. We see from this that the education of our children needs to be a team effort. The parents must teach the very young child and as they grow, the teacher needs to continue his education. We have to remember that the teacher doesn't alleviate the parents from their responsibility. It needs to be a combined effort. And only then can we can daven to Hashem that our efforts are fruitful and that we have nachas from our children. The impact that parents and teachers have on children is everlasting.

This week is the third yahrzeit of my mother, Rebbitzen Leah Raichik, of blessed memory. When World War II broke out in September 1939 she was about ten years old. In order to save themselves, her family roamed from place to place during the war. They were in Warsaw and in Pinshuv, where her older brother was the Rov. For two years they were hidden in a barn. My grandmother was a very shrewd lady. She had her diamonds hidden in the fillings in her teeth. From time to time she had one taken out and gave it to the farmer as payment. By night they went out for air, but by day they remained well hidden. Once a group of Germans came into the barn and saw the piles of hay. One said there's no one here. Another said maybe someone is hiding in the hay. They took their pitchforks and their bayonets and went through the hay. The family was hiding on the other side of the barn in a covered trench, but they were safe. My mother experienced severe trauma during the war, and eventually came to America.

When she was eighteen years old, her family began thinking about a suitable shidduch for her. R. Shmuel Zalmanov suggested a shidduch with my father. R. Zalmanov's connection to the family was through his wife Raizel, who was the daughter of the Pinchover Rov (my mother's brother). Although she was a niece of my mother, she was older than her. Shmuel Zalmanov knew both my mother and my father. When the shidduch was under consideration there were those in the family who felt that since they were in America and she needed to get settled, they should look for someone who was a businessman, or knew more English, etc. They felt that taking a Lubavitcher bochur, who goes all day with a long coat and a full beard, and doesn't know a word of English wasn't the best choice for a shidduch. My mother was asked for her opinion. Her response was she felt that her father would want her to marry a chassidishe bochur. Her father had passed away only six months after outbreak of the war. The chinuch that her father gave her by the age of ten helped her to decide what type of a life she wanted.

Six weeks after their wedding the Previous Rebbe sent my parents to Los Angeles. Los Angeles is the last stop on the train before the Pacific Ocean. My mother left her mother, her sister and her cousins and their families behind in New York. She went to Los Angeles, a place where she did not know anyone, with a husband who wouldn't be home six to eight months of the year. She was asked once how it feels to be the first shlucha to California of the Previous Rebbe. She replied, "The Rebbe said to go, so we went." That emunas tzadikim surely came from the education she received from her parents. Her father was a Gerrer Chossid. One of my mother's cousins's married a child of the Bais Yisroel (tragically they perished during the war). The concept of the Rebbe-Chossid relationship was alive in her childhood home. Even though my mother did not learn in Bais Rivka or about Lubavitch, she made this connection in America through her niece, Raizel Zalmanov. R. Shmuel and Mrs. Raizel Zalmanov were very close to the households of Previous Rebbe and the Rebbe. My mother left New York by the word of the Rebbe. Because the Rebbe told her to go, she went without question. In terms of Jewish life at the time, Los Angeles was very provincial. There was no kosher bakery or kosher supermarket. She brought live chickens to the shochet and then kashered them herself. She did this for one reason: because when the Rebbe said to go, you go.

Announcements Voeschanan:

  • Please update your family information in the shul database by July 31! Sign in to or send an email to [email protected]. Thank you to our many members that have already participated in this project!!
  • Boruch Hecht's ufruf will take place this shabbos at the main minyan. Kiddush details below.
  • This Monday night there will be a farbrengen for men in shul after ma'ariv in honor of Tu B'Av.
  • The rebbe encouraged everyone to listen to a daily siyum from the beginning of the 9 days through Tu B’Av. You can participate in a siyum every night after maariv at the shul. Thank you to all those who volunteered to make siyumim.
  • Interested in learning to read the haftorah? Rabbi Gershon Schusterman is considering to offer just such a class. If you want to participate email [email protected].
  • In preparation for Tishrei, Dovi Gorelik - Black Hatters is once again open for business. See the ad at for more details.

Shabbos Voeschanan Schedule:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 7:43 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus with Rabbi Raichik: 9:00 am
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 4:00 pm in Shul
  • Shiur in Pirkei Avos with Rabbi Raichik: 7:00 pm
  • Mincha: 7:45 pm - Pirkei Avos - Perek 4
  • Shabbos Ends: 8:46 pm

Kiddush Sponsors:

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yisroel Hecht in honor of the ufruf of their son Boruch. May he be Zoche to build a binyan aday ad.
  • Mr. David Milner for the 1st yahrtzeit of his mother Shein bas Shlomo. May the neshomo have an aliya. Also in honor of Tzvi & Sheina Boyarsky, their family and the entire chabad community for all the good work.
  • Together With:
    Mr. & Mrs. Shea Bastomski
    for the birth of their granddaughter Kaila. May they have much nachas from their entire family.
    Rabbi & Mrs. Danny Rotenberg for the yahrtzeits of Rabbi Rotenberg's mother Kaila bas Yedidya and Mrs. Rotenberg's mother Malka bas Yitzchok Yosef. May the neshomos have an aliya.

Women's Shabbos Shiur/Farbrengen:

At the home of Mrs. Sima Zeifman
421 N Poinsettia Pl
at 6:30 pm.
Speaker: Rabbi Levi Kramer

Mazal Tov To:

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yisroel Hecht on the upcoming marriage of their son Boruch to Mooka Naparstek. Mazal Tov the entire Hecht and Naparstek families.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Richard Rosenbloom on the birth of their grandson Yaakov Leib.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Danny Rotenberg on the birth of their granddaughter Shaina Sara Goodman.

Upcoming Birthdays:

  •  Yosef Gorelik - 13 Av

Upcoming Anniversaries:

  • Dr. & Mrs. Ze'ev Rav-Noy - 13 Av 


Weekly Thought - Voeschanon

The Gemorah at the end of Taanis states that Tu b'Av and Yom HaKippurim are the most joyous Yomim Tovim for the Jewish people.
The Gemorah lists the following reasons:
1. The Jewish People stopped dying in the Midbar. Tosfos explains that every year at Tisha b'Av, an announcement was made that each person should dig a grave and then to sleep in it that night. Those who did not rise the next morning were buried in their grave. Those who rose from their grave merited at least another year of life. The final year in the Midbar on Tisha b'Av, every person rose from their grave, not even one had died. Because they thought that perhaps they had erred in their calculation of the date, they decided to sleep in their graves for the next four nights. Finally, when the full moon arrived they realized that the decree had been nullified, that they would all live. This was the first year the Jewish People celebrated Tu b'Av.
2. The Romans permitted burial to the the Jews of Betar. The Jews that were killed during the rebellion of Barto that led to the destruction of Betar on Tisha b’Av, were allowed burial on the day of Tu b’Av. This event brought closure to the destruction of the city. At that time, the Sanhedrin added a fourth bracha to Birchas Hamazon, “HaTov VeHameitiv”. This was instituted to express gratitude toward Hashem for these Jews being brought to burial, and that their corpses had not decayed all the years that they had remained unburied.
3. Intertribal marriages were allowed. Moshe had decreed that women should only marry within their own tribe. This was to avoid the transfer of ownership from the original tribal portions given during the initial division of the land. This decree began when the uncles of the daughters of Tzlofchad complained after Hashem told Moshe to give the daughters of Tzlofchad the portion of their father in Eretz Yisroel. Their complaint was that if the daughters would wed someone from another shevet that land would be transferred away from the tribe of Menashe to the tribe of whomever they married. This practice was followed for many years. On Tu b'Av the Sanhedrin in Eretz Yisroel permitted marriages between men and women of any shevet. It was understood that the original prohibition was only intended for the generation entering Eretz Yisroel.
4. King Hoshea permitted the pilgrimage of Jews to Yerushalayim. Earlier, Yeravam had made a blockade to keep the tribes of the north from going to Yerushayim for the Shalosh Regalim. He feared that going to Yerushalayim might lead to rebellion against him and joining the Kingdom of Yehudah under the leadership of Rechavam, the son of Shlomo Hamelech. King Hoshea removed the blockade allowing the Jews of the north to travel up to Yerushalayim for Yom Tov.
5. The completion of wood cutting for the mizbeach. The fires that burned on the mizbeach required wood that did not have worm infestation. The kohanim checked each piece to see if it was fit for use. The cutting of wood for the mizbeach ended each year on the fifteenth day of Av because the sun begins to lose its summer intensity. Therefore the wood after that time does not thoroughly dry allowing for worm infestation.
6. Shevet Binyomin was re allowed to marry with other shevotim. The other Shevotim had previously made an oath stating that their daughters would not marry into Shevet Binyomin. This occurred in the aftermath of a large war waged against Shevet Binyomin by the other Shevatim as is explained in Sefer Shoftim. On Tu b’Av permission was given that girls would be able to marry into the tribe of Binyamin. This saved Shevet Binyomin from extinction. As a result, the achdus and ahavas Yisroel among the shevotim was strengthened.
7. Many shidduchim were made on this day when the young women would go and dance in the vineyards on Tu b’Av. These young women would borrow someone else’s dress to go to the fields on Tu b’Av. No one used her own dress. The purpose of this custom of borrowing was to prevent any of the women feeling shame if she did not have her own clothing. The Gemorah explains that the daughter of the king would borrow from the daughter of the Kohen Gadol who in turn would borrow from the daughter of the deputy Kohen Gadol. All of this was instituted so that a poor girl who had no nice garment of her own would be able to borrow a dress to go out on a date without embarrassment.
The Rebbe explains that the greatness of Tu b’Av is in how it represents nullification of Tisha b’Av. From the first point we see how Tu b’Av revealed that Tisha b’Av is no longer a day of mourning. The Jews of the Midbar realized that the decree of Tisha b’Av was annulled.
The fact that men and women of any shevet were permitted to marry and that Shevet Binyomin was fully included among Bnei Yisroel both demonstrate unity. King Hoshea as well brought unity where there had been division for hundreds of years between the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel.
With regard to wood for the mizbeach we know that the woodcutters would work in the heat of summer cutting wood. They did not know who, in the end would use the wood they cut or what sort of korban it would burn. The person who brought it to the Chamber of Wood did not know who would use it as the one for whom it was used did not know who brought it. This represents the highest level of tzedakah. Additionally, the sun became weaker. This represents the solar calendar which is in use by non-Jews. The weakening of the sun after Tu b'Av represents the weakening of the goyim (see HaYom Yom on 15 Av).
The second Bais Hamikdosh was destroyed because of sinas chinam. Tu b’Av is the cure. Tu b’Av shows ahavas Yisroel and achdus Yisroel; that in truth there is no division between one Jew and another.
The daughter of the king might have said that she would give ten dresses to tzedekah for the daughters of the poor. This was not the practice. Each girl had to wear someone else’s dress and feel uncomfortable. This was for the sake of another Jewish girl, one she probably never met, never went to school with, and who was poor, that she should not be ashamed to knock on someone’s door to borrow a dress. To have discomfort just so another Jew not be ashamed is the highest level of tzedakah. This is true ahavas and achdus Yisroel.
On one occasion in 770, my father told us the following story which typifies just how much the Rebbe demands ahavas yisroel.
The story is about an acquaintance of my father. He was a Jew living in Los Angeles, who my father knew from Otvosk, Poland where they had learned together in Yeshiva. Originally this gentleman had lived in the Midwest and was looking to relocate to Los Angeles. He asked my father for a favor. He asked him to speak to a certain person on his behalf to see if it was possible to become a partner in his business. My father told him in advance that he would try but; “it’s not up to me”. He tried but the other person was simply not interested in having this Midwesterner as a partner. This person came anyway to Los Angeles without first checking with my father, being certain that my father had struck a deal. This episode became a source of misunderstanding between the two of them. This man held a grudge against my father for many years.
Once, when my father was in New York the Rebbe's secretary asked him about what is happening with this individual. My father said that he doesn’t know and explained that the reason he doesn’t know is because of their previous misunderstanding. The Rebbe's responded to the report of this; “Where is ahavas yisroel?”
My father worked with effort that this difference should be washed away and they should be friends. He tried everything. The Shabbos morning of my brother Yossi's Ufruf my father sent someone to this man's house begging him to attend. When this person made a wedding, my father made it his business to be there for the chuppah, even though he did not receive an invitation. Eventually their differences were eliminated. They became fully reconciled and became friends again.
When this person once went through an operation, my father, who by then was using a walker, asked me to take him to visit him at his house. My father turned to me and said, “You know what the Rebbe told me!” My father brought him a sefer about the Yeshiva in Otvosk. It was a very friendly meeting.
I am saying this story because my father was not afraid to say it himself. This story expresses what ahavas yisroel means.

Announcements - Devarim

  • This Monday night & Tuesday is the fast of Tishah B’Av:
    Fast Begins: 8:03 pm
    Ma’ariv: 8:30 pm
    Tuesday Shacharis: 7:00, 8:30 and 9:30 am
    Midday: 12:59 pm
    Mincha: 1:30, 7:00 pm
    Fast Ends: 8:37 pm
  • The rebbe encouraged everyone to listen to a daily siyum from the beginning of the 9 days through tu b’av. You can participate in a siyum every night after maariv at the shul. Thank you to all those who volunteered to make siyumim.
  • The women's hilchos beis habechira shiur given by Rabbi Bukiet will take place this Sunday 10:00 am at 808 N. Mansfield Ave.
  • The last session of the women's ahavas yisroel shiur will take place this Sunday evening. For more info click here.
  • Interested in learning to read the haftorah? Rabbi Gershon Schusterman is considering to offer just such a class. If you want to participate email [email protected].
  • Please continue to say tehillim for Mordechai ben Simcha Chaya who is in need of a refua shleima - Kapitel 41.


Shabbos Schedule:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 7:46 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus with Rabbi Raichik: 9:00 am
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 4:00 pm in Shul
  • Shiur in Pirkei Avos with Rabbi Raichik: 7:00 pm
  • Mincha: 7:45 pm - Pirkei Avos - Perek 3
  • Shabbos Ends: 8:49 pm

Kiddush Sponsors:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Shea Bastomski for the birth of their granddaughter Kaila. May they have much nachas from their entire family.
  • Mr. Harvey Benton in honor of Shabbos Chazon.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Shmuly Gurary in honor of their daughter Chava. May they have much nachas from their entire family.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Rafael Gutierrez for the birth of their son Gavriel Avrohom. May they have much nachas from their entire family. A yasher koach for inviting Rabbi Nachman Schapiro to farbreng this Shabbos.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Mottel Polityko for the first birthday of their twins Moshe Meir & Chava Menucha. May they have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus uberuchniyus.

Women's Shabbos Shiur/Farbrengen:

At the home of Mrs. Sima Bart 
261 S. Mansfield Ave.
at 6:30 pm.
Speaker: Rabbi Simcha Bart

Mazal Tov To:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Yossi Engel on the birth of their daughter Chana Hinda. Mazal Tov to the grandparents Rabbi & Mrs. Sholom Perl.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Shea Bastomski on the birth of their granddaughter Kaila Zalmanov.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yossi Schneerson on the birth of their grandson.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Naftoli Greenberg on the engagment of their daughter Mussie to Yaakov Yosef Raskin.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yrachmiel Wolowik on the hanochas teffilin of their son Yossi.

Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Rabbi Dov Goldman - 7 Av
  • Heshy Mishulovin - 7 Av
  • Mr. Reuvein Caplan - 8 Av
  • Mendy Lerman - 8 Av
  • Akiva Hoffman - 9 Av
  • Alexander Sender Labkowsky - 11 Av
  • Nadav Lerman - 11 Av
  • Moshe Meir Polityko - 11 Av

Weekly Thought - Devarim

This week’s Parsha, Devarim begins with hints of Moshe Rabbenu’s words of admonishment toward the Jewish People. The Rebbe explains how Moshe Rabbenu approached these words, and illuminates an everlasting lesson to us in how to use words in our daily lives, especially with the education and guidance of our children.

The Gemorah states that when a person needs to admonish others, it should be carried out in a specific manner. First, one “pushes away the other with his left hand”, and then “draws his close with his right hand”. The ‘left’ refers to Gevurah–strictness which comes from the “weak” side, while ‘right’ refers to ahava–affection which comes from the “strong” side. This two sided approach is different than Elisha, who pushed his servant Gechazi away with ‘both arms’, and that of Yehoshua ben Perachia who also pushed away his ‘well-known student’ with ‘both arms’.

In the continuation, the Gemorah explains how to rebuke a child. Strictness, from the weaker side, is mentioned first, and then that we must show chesed from the right, is mentioned second. The Rebbe questions the Gemorah based on the following premise. When we begin teaching children, we give them sweets to get them to learn. Later, we teach that serving Hashem purely out of love is the best motivation, and not for the sake of a reward. We begin with chesed, yamin – the right side. Based upon this foundation the Rebbe asks: Why is the order in the Gemorah to first rebuke, with the left, and only then draw close with the right?

The Rebbe explains that the real intention in the Gemora is not to describe what comes first and what comes second in sequence. What is actually meant is that even when you rebuke another, they need to see kindness, that you hold them very strong and dear. This is shown in the story the Gemorah brings following the statement. Elisha the Prophet had a gabbai named Gechazi who was the leader of all of his students. Elisha showed Gechazi special favor. He gave his own staff to revive his child. There was a great closeness between them. The yamin was already established. Elisha told Naaman, the General of Aman, to dip himself seven times in the Yarden and he will be cured from tzoraas. In gratitude, Na’aman offered Elisha gifts which Elisha did not accept. Gechazi went behind Elisha’s back and took the gifts. When Elisha found out that Gechazi had taken the gifts, he declared that the tzora’as of Na’aman will be on Gechazi and his three children. (see the Haftorah of Tzaria-Metzora.) The Gemorah comments that Elisha’s rebuke of Gechazi was too harsh. The Gemora states that “he pushed him away with both hands”.

This is similar to the story of Yehoshua ben Perachia. He had a well-known student with whom he was close. Once, they were eating together and the student made a comment to which Yehoshua ben Perachia took great offense. Yehoshua ben Perachia became very upset with him and rebuked him very sharply. As a result the student left his teacher. The Gemorah said he was too harsh with this student. He should have rebuked him with the left and brought him close with the right. But in this story as well as that of Elisha and Gechazi, their connection had began and was established in a positive place, before they gave rebuke.

From these episodes we can better understand another Gemorah. The Gemorah says the great sage Rava would begin his lectures with something humorous causing everyone to laugh, and would only then started his lecture. The purpose was so the students should learn Torah b’simcha with open minds toward the subject. This was done, even though the Gemorah says that when a student sits before his Rebbe he must have awe. To make it easier on his students Rava started with yamin – closeness, through humor. Was Rava required to make the humorous remark? He did it each time he began a shiur because his students needed to sit with awe-left. He therefore decided to start by cheering them up-right before the shiur, to better enable them to sit in awe.

There are times that we are required to tell a child (or anyone else) about things they need to correct. When this occurs, the left has to push away, meaning we need to be clear and definitive about what is occurring or not working. But the right needs to bring close to be effective. We never win with outright control. The only way we can possibly be effective is if we have a warm and established loving relationship. The other individual must feel that you care for him, and are close to him or her.

This is connected with this week’s parsha when Moshe was admonishing the Jewish people for their behavior over the past forty years. He only spoke after he was successful smiting Sichon and Og. Rashi asks why the Torah needed to mention this. Rashi answers that Moshe considered that if he would admonish them before they come into at least a part of Eretz Yisroel, the Jews may not accept his words. They may think or say; “What does Moshe want from us? What good has come from all of what we have gone through? Does he only come to harass us?” Therefore Moshe Rabbenu waited until he conquered Sichon and Og and gave them possession of the land. Moshe first made the Jews feel that he cares and loves them, and only then he gave them rebuke. For their benefit he revealed to them their true condition, and then the Jews accepted and knew, that these words were intended, for their greater good.

The Rebbe asks why the additional step was necessary. Moshe Rabbenu had been feeding them all these years, and providing them with water, etc. How could Moshe be afraid to admonish them before they went into Eretz Yisroel? The Rebbe answers, since this was to be a very strong admonishment for the sin of the Golden Calf, he needed to add something very positive to them to balance the rebuke. We see clearly that the way of Moshe Rabbenu was not with ‘both hands’, The way he mentioned it to them was as if to remark “Look and you will see for yourselves that you had so much gold, and you simply did not know what to do with it!” This teaches us how parents should act with their children. We can first establish true and enduring positive bonds. Then can we hope that when a moment arises when we need push away with the left the established good will enable us to bring them close with the right.

Based on Likutei Sichos Vol. 17 Chag haPesach, and 28 Menachem Av 5736/1976

Reb Sholom Ber Gordon once came to the Rebbe. He had a shul in Newark where many people were not frum. He asked the Rebbe how he should speak to them when they are doing something wrong and need change their ways. The Rebbe told him that when someone goes into a “shvitz” he goes up higher and higher to get to hotter place. A fellow is there with a certain type of broom who hits him on his shoulders. The man visiting the shvitz says, “Ah! Do it again!” If the fellow with the broom would stand on street corners hitting people with his broom no one would want it done twice! Only once a person becomes physically warm in the shvitz the ‘zetz’ from the broom goes into his bones, he feels good and wants more. The same thing b’ruchnius that you cannot just rebuke people for what they do wrong, first you being them close and give them the warmth of Yiddishkeit through Chassidus and they feel the warmth in their bones. Then you can tell them how to correct themselves and they are ready to accept.

Ahavas Yisroel Shiur

Ahavas Yisroel.jpg

Announcements - Matos - Masei

  • The shul needs volunteers to make siyumim every night from Rosh Chodesh through Tu B'Av. Please email Rabbi Shmuly Gurary right away at [email protected] if you can participate.
  • If you have an outstanding pledge, please click here or send your check right away. Thank you!!
  • Please continue to say tehillim for Mordechai ben Simcha Chaya who is in need of a refua shleima - Kapitel 41.


Shabbos Matos - Masei Schedule:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 7:49 pm
  • Shabbos Mevarchim Tehillim: 8:15 am
  • Followed by a Shiur Chassidus with Rabbi Raichik
  • Shacharis: 10:15 am
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 4:00 pm in Shul
  • Shiur in Pirkei Avos with Rabbi Raichik: 7:05 pm
  • Mincha: 7:50 pm - Pirkei Avos - Perek 2
  • Shabbos Ends: 8:52 pm
  • Molad of Menachem Av - Sunday 29 Tammuz/July 11
    6:07 pm + 17 chalakim
  • Rosh Chodesh Av - Monday July 12

Sholom Zochors:

  • Mr. & Mrs. David Rafael Gutierrez invite the community to the Sholom Zochor for their son at their home 458 S Mansfield Ave.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Nota Berger invite the community to the Sholom Zochor for their son at their home 118 S. Highland Ave.

Kiddush Sponsors:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Simcha Levenberg for the yahrtzeit of Mr. Levenberg's father Velvol Ephraim ben Yisroel HaLevi ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Together with:
    Rabbi & Mrs. Michy Rav-Noy for R' Michy's birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho bakol.

Women's Shabbos Shiur/Farbrengen:

At the home of Mrs. Ruchama Thaler 
418 N Martel Ave.
at 6:30 pm.

Mazal Tov To:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Nota Berger on the birth of their son. Mazal Tov to the grandparents Rabbi & Mrs. Mordechai Berger.
  • Mr. Zev Oster on the birth of his granddaughter.
  • Mr. & Mrs Elozor Plotke on the birth of their grandson.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Zalmen Schmukler on the birth of their grandson.

 Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Rabbi Michy Rav-Noy - 28 Tamuz
  • Rabbi Moishe Carlebach - 29 Tamuz
  • Menachem Mendel Lerner - 29 Tamuz
  • Menachem Mendel Stroll - 2 Av
  • Dr. Sholom Fine - 3 Av
  • Mr. Ephraim Levy - 3 Av

Weekly Thought - Matos - Masei

This week's parsha begins with the laws of nedarim - vows. The Torah describes how one must uphold the commitment of a vow, and how to annul a vow. Also explained is the power invested in a Rav to release an individual from a vow. We need to understand the following: (a) why does a person makes a vow and; (b) how does a Rav have the power to annul a vow once it has been made?

Concerning a vow we find two opposing sentiments. The Mishna in Pirkei Avos (3:13) states; "vows are a fence for abstinence". This expression describes a vow as a helpful positive concept. A person can make a neder and thereby separate himself from worldly matters that may be disturbing him in his service to Hashem. On the other hand, the Gemorah Yerushalmi says "Isn't it enough what Torah already prohibits? Is it necessary to willingly add to them by vowing to prohibit other things? This second source implies that a vow is a negative thing, and should be avoided.

The Rebbe explains that we can answer these questions with a better understanding the concept of a vow and its real purpose. The world is divided into three discreet categories. The first category is things that are prohibited for use. They are prohibited because they are derived from klipos. Klipos are not able to be elevated and therefore need to be rejected, pushed away. This is the meaning of asur meaning tied. These items are tied into the power of tumah and are therefore not able to be elevated or changed. These items are forbidden, and will only transform after Moshiach comes.

The second category is thing which an individual is bound and obligated to perform. Examples are, eating matzo on Pesach or making Kiddush on wine. Through utilizing the physical object one elevates its life-force which is connected to Hashem.

In these two categories everyone is equal. The things which are prohibited no one can elevate, even the Tzadik. The things with which we are obligated, mitzvos, every can and must elevate, even the simple Jew.

The third category is a thing which is permitted, but is neither prohibited nor a mitzvah. It is permitted to be used, and it is up to each individual to deal with it accordingly. If one uses it and it helps him or her in serving Hashem, then its life-force is elevated. If however it is for one's own pleasure, without consideration of why it was created, one destroys its life-force and brings it down into klipa, as is explained in Tanya, chapter 7.

When I eat something I must ask myself if I am going to elevate its spiritual source or lower it into klipa. This is what people struggle with. We ask ourselves: "This is something that is permitted, but how much of it may I use?" There is someone who is in control of himself and he uses those things which are permitted within reasonable limits. He knows when to say yes and when to say no and he fulfills the mitzvah to sanctify himself from things which are permitted. This is a fulfillment of what the Previous Rebbe mentioned in Sichos about the choices of a Chosid. "What is prohibited is prohibited until the end, and what is permitted he doesn't need". He knows his limits. Unfortunately there are individuals who can't control themselves and something which is permitted becomes an indulgence. It can be kosher l'mehadrin, but he is eating it for his own lust and taivos.

When I was in Yeshiva, Rabbi Greenglas told the following story at a farbrengen.
A certain Bachur who was learning in Yeshiva was told by his Mashgiach Ruchni that iskafia means; that we cannot do everything we desire. Later, the bochur was walking the Mashgiach home and they passed a melon stand. The Mashgiach was checking each melon to see which would be the best. The Bochur asked him: "You just taught us about iskafia, so why should you look for the best and sweetest fruit to eat?" "Fool!" responded the Mashgiach, "Who should have the best melon, a Jew or a gentile?" Everything which we see was created for Jews and we can use it in the service of Hashem. We feel we are fulfilling the purpose for which this was created.

If a person realizes truly that he is out of control, and he has to put the brakes on, he makes a vow and prohibits himself. He has made a fence that he shouldn't fall through. After indulging himself in those things which are permitted, one may want to go further to things which are not permitted, whatever the eye sees and the heart desires. The only way to get control is to make a vow. For him the vow is the right thing to do.

Then we have someone else who is in control of himself and he could utilize the permitted things in serving Hashem. But it is easier to abstain and so he makes a vow. It's the easy way out. To him we say, Hashem created you in this world to elevate these things. Why did you prohibit yourself from utilizing them?

How does the Chacham undo the vow? If the vow is undone, what happens to this person who needs a restriction? The person had to make a vow because he couldn't control himself, how does the Chacham help him?

The Rebbe explains that according to Chassidus there are three types of people. One is a person who had evaluated himself poorly, and felt he couldn't deal with the "permitted" things. To him the Chacham explains that he has the tools and can cope with the problem. He doesn't need the neder. The neder was made under a false perception. He does have the power to control himself but he miscalculated himself. The Chacham reveals this power he has. The second person seems to evaluate himself properly and makes a neder. Indeed, in the revealed powers of his intellect and emotions of the neshama this is true, but the concealed powers, the heart of the neshama, deep down he does have the power to deal with the "permitted" things. So again, the Rav shows him the inner strength that the person didn't realize he had. This is different than the first person. It wasn't a mistaken evaluation, but he looked as far as he could, and did not realize his hidden potential. The Chacham exposes the hidden powers of the neshama that the person never tapped into before. The
Rav opens this blockage of the hidden parts of the neshama to help the revealed powers of the neshama.

The third type of person is helped by the Rav because Hashem gives the Rav the means to infuse powers into the individual that he had not had before to deal with his weaknesses. Originally the person doesn't have the power to control himself but the Rav infuses him with new power through Torah and uplifts him to a different level that he had not been able to achieve before.

Based on Lekutei Sichos, Vol. 33.

The following two stories illustrate the ideas mentioned above.

Reb Nissin Nemenov, the Mashpia in France, once attended his grandson's Bar Mitzva. After the meal they served ice cream. During the farbrengen he screamed; "Is this what's missing after eating an entire meal you also need ice cream? Where is the personal restraint?"

This is a story about my father which I heard from Rabbi Leibel Groner when he was still a bochur in 770. My father wasn't yet married and davened until the late afternoon in the cheder sheini upstairs in 770. When he finally finished, he walked into the Bais Medrash just in time for lunch. He saw a bochur eating an ice cream and shouted in shock "Ice cream in Tomchei Tmimim?!"

Announcements - Pinchas:

  • If you have an outstanding pledge, please click here or send your check right away. Thank you!!
  • The Friendship Circle of Los Angeles has a great chance to win $20,000 through the Chase Community Giving initiative. Its legal name is Friends Around. Please click here to vote.
  • Please continue to say tehillim for Mordechai ben Simcha Chaya who is in need of a refua shleima - Kapitel 41.

Shabbos Pinchas Schedule:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 7:50 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus with Rabbi Raichik: 9:00 am 
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 4:00 pm in Shul
  • Shiur in Pirkei Avos with Rabbi Raichik: 7:05 pm 
  • Mincha: 7:50 pm - Pirkei Avos - Perek 1
  • Shabbos Ends: 8:53 pm

Sholom Zochor:

Mr. & Mrs. Meir Lipskier
Invite the community to the Sholom Zochor for their son
At the home of R' Baruch Greenbaum 314 N Alta Vista Blvd.

Kiddush Sponsors:

  • Mr. Shlomo Noury for the yahrtzeit of his father Nissan ben Raphael. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Together with:
    Rabbi & Mrs. Yosef Yitzchok Halevi Shagalov for the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shagalov's father R' Schneur Zalman ben R' Yitzchok Elchonon Halevi. May the neshomo have an aliya.
    Rabbi Avraham Hecht (father of Rabbi Yisroel Hecht) for the yahrtzeits of Rabbi Avraham's father R' Yehoshuah ben R' Tzvi Elimelech and father in law R' Boruch ben R' Eliyahu. May the neshomos have an aliya.

Women's Shabbos Shiur

At the home of Mrs. Chana Weiss 411 N Martel Ave.
at 6:30 pm.
Speaker: Rabbi Levi Kramer

Mazal Tov To:


  • Rabbi & Mrs. Gershon Schusterman on the engagement of their daughter Alta Shula to Rabbi Shmuly Goldstein.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Meir Lipskier on the birth of their son.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Mendel Schapiro on the birth of their daughter Rivka.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yecheskel Raeburn on the upshernish of their son Sholom Dovber.

Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Rabbi Ariel Rav-Noy - 27 Tammuz 

Upcoming Anniversaries:

  •  Mr. & Mrs. Yehoshua Zelig Zipp - 26 Tammuz

Weekly Thought - Pinchas

In this week's parsha Bnos Tzlofchad questioned Moshe Rabbenu about their inheritance. Moshe Rabbenu then brought their question before Hashem. Rashi explains that Moshe Rabbenu had actually known the halacha, but had forgotten it. Therefore he needed to ask Hashem again to reveal the halacha.

At the end of Parshas Balak we find a similar instance of Moshe Rabbenu forgetting a halacha in the story of Zimri. Moshe Rabbenu and Bnei Yisroel were crying about the actions of Zimri with no clear decision of how to act. Pinchas witnessed what Zimri was doing and remembered the halacha. He told Moshe Rabbenu that he had already taught how to act in this case. Moshe Rabbenu responded, “He who reads the letter should fulfill its command”. From these stories we see that two halachos were forgotten by Moshe Rabbenu. The situation was resolved in one instance with Pinchas remembering, and in the other by receiving the answer again from Hashem.

Before the incident with Zimri, Moshe Rabbenu had taught the halacha, but the entire Bnei Yisroel including Moshe, forgot. In the instance of Bnos Tzlofchad, Moshe Rabbenu had learned the halacha, but had not taught it to Bnei Yisroel. This halacha became relevant at the end of the forty years in the desert when the land of Eretz Yisroel was to being divided amongst the shevotim. At that point Hashem had to repeat this law for Moshe Rabbenu. What is unique here and why did Moshe Rabbenu forget specifically in these episodes?

The Rebbe teaches us the following halacha. If a Talmid Chacham teaches a halacha that relates to a case that he himself is involved, we may not be able to use it in his case. If the court already knew the halacha before, then that law can be applied to this case. If however, no one had known the halacha in advance of the Talmid Chacham teaching it, we don't accept his teaching. The reason is because he has a personal interest in the matter. Moshe Rabbenu had personal involvement in both cases mentioned above. Zimri challenged Moshe Rabbenu directly by comparison. If the woman was prohibited for him to marry because she was a Midianite, then Moshe should also be forbidden to his wife, the daughter of Yisro, who is also a Midianite!

Since everyone had forgotten the halacha, if Moshe Rabbenu would teach that the zealous should take care of Zimri, the Sanhedrin would not accept his ruling. The reason is that he would be the sole source of the halacha for a case that he had personal involvement. Since everyone had forgotten the halacha, therefore it was necessary for Moshe Rabbenu to forget as well. Pinchas, on the other hand, was not personally involved. Therefore when he quoted the halacha it was accepted.

Bnos Tzlofchad told Moshe that their father died in the desert due to his own sins and was not among any of the groups that instigated a rebellion against Moshe Rabbenu like Korach and his followers. Bnos Tzlofchad needed to be very specific about this point because if he were a member of one of those groups, he would not be eligible to a portion in Eretz Yisroel. Once Moshe was told that Tzlofchad was not from a rebellious group, he had to remove himself from the case. This is because the words of Bnis Tzlofchad could be interpreted as flattery toward Moshe Rabbenu. No one except Moshe Rabbenu had known this halacha since it hadn’t been relevant to know. If Moshe Rabbenu would teach the halacha that they receive their father’s inheritance, the Sanhedrin would disqualify Moshe Rabbenu's ruling. He had to bring this question before Hashem to relearn this halacha as if it had never been taught. Only then would it be acceptable to the Sanhedrin. This is the only way it could be revealed.

We learn from these episodes we learn an additional meaning of bribery. Bribery doesn’t just involve money, but all kinds of influence, even a few words of flattery. Even the few words of Bnos Tzlofchad put Moshe Rabbenu in a position that he could not give a verdict and had to go back to Hashem to relearn the halacha.

Likutei Sichos, vol. 13.

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