A joyous community of Jewish women e ngaged in
prayer, study and spiritual growth  

April 2016
The Red Cow and More!
Join us at Lev Eisha on Saturday April 2 and l earn about Shabbat Parah - the special reading of the Red Cow and what it means for the holiday of Passover.

There are five Saturdays in April and each one is unique and special in the Jewish calendar.  At Lev Eisha you will find out why, and how each week can bring a different sense of joy to your life.

Services begin at 9:30 am, led by Rabbi August and Cantorial Soloist Cindy Paley.  Readings are from the book of Leviticus.

Be sure to stay for a delicious kiddush luncheon, sponsored by 
Tonia Agron in honor of the 55th birthday of her daughter, Terri Agron-Mc Graw,  and in memory of her mother, Diane Morris, on her 46th yahrzeit.  

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Bursting Out With Donors...

Thank you to the following generous donors:
  • Joan Schulman made a donation in honor of Myrna Kayton.
  • Robin Winston, Stacey Serber and Teri Geske made a donation honoring a simcha for Barbara Axelband (her 80th birthday)
  • Myrna Kayton made a donation in honor of Barbara Axelband's special birthday 
  • Linda Zweig made a donation in honor of Barbara Axelband's 80th birthday 
  • Barbara Axelband donated 8 prayerbooks in loving memory of Marla Osband and in memory of Brett Evan Lessing, son of Linda Lessing
  • Leila Rosemberg made a donation in honor of Barbara Axelband's birthday
  • Naomi Djanogly made a donation in honor of Barbara Axelband's birthday 
  • Sandy Terranova made a donation "in memory of my beloved mother, Sylvia Shapiro"  
Yesterday's Ashes 
by Rabbi August
The month of April in our cycle of Torah reading is a month about sacrifices. We are in the third book of Leviticus and it can be underwhelming! Yet, there are nuggets to be gleaned in unexpected places.
Years ago, when I lived the woods near the Pocono mountains in Pennsylvania, I had a wood burning stove.  I remember the time and effort to find kindling, buy wood to burn and tend to the fire. Mostly though, I remember cleaning out the ashes.  It was messy and tedious work.
         In Chapter six of Leviticus we read about what the priests were commanded to do in the morning.

 "This is the "Torah" - instruction of the OLAH - the burned offering.
"It shall remain where it burned upon the altar all night until morning, while the fire on the altar is kept going on it.  In the morning the priest shall dress in linen raiment and linen breeches and take up the ashes to which the fire has reduced the burnt offering and place the ashes beside the alter. The priest shall then take off his linen vestments and put on other clothes and carry the ashes outside to a pure place."

An interesting piece of Torah! Who would have thought that it was the priest's job to take out the ashes?  Surely there was a custodian, a priest in training who could have qualified. And why is this the first thing that the priest did in the morning before other important activities?
 Our commentators say this ensures that the priest never forgets his link to ordinary people who have to spend their days in mundane pursuits. Taking out the garbage then is everyone's job.  It teaches us humility. There is honor and meaning even in the lowliest of tasks.
I know however, that I still do not like cleaning the bathroom and look forward to the housekeeper doing this and other cleaning. Am I missing out in a lesson of humility?  Let's look deeper.
 Rabbi Hirsch says that "Taking out the ashes of each new day provides us with a look back at the accomplishments of the previous day." Also, we are visually reminded that we have a clean slate each morning.  We can start fresh - yesterday's ashes are gone.
 Rabbi Hirsch adds, "The start of every new day summons us to set out upon our task with renewed devotion, as if we had never accomplished anything before. The memory of yesterday's accomplishments must not detract from our duty today!"
The ashes are our yesterdays. Historically, they are the memory of the Temple sacrifices. They are put outside the camp in a holy, pure place. The past is remembered, honored and respected, but we journey on.
We are not living in the past and can't carry the burden of the past with us. Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav said: "One who carries too much baggage, never gets out of Mitzraim-Egypt!"
This is the teaching: every morning - remove your ashes!  Look at where we have been. Be present. Ask yourself - "Where am I today?" And be curious as to where you might be asked to go tomorrow. Understand and accept yesterday.  Be present with joy today; anticipate with hope and courage the challenge of tomorrow.
I like this idea of taking out the ashes and letting go of yesterday's mistakes.  We do not have to perseverate or stress about where we messed up, what could have and should have been done, nor be stuck with disappointment or shame. 
Instead, we have the freedom to start the day with the ashes removed and put aside.  Remember to remove yesterday's ashes and live for today!

Sarah Barash, Our Resident Poet
 Sarah shared this lovely poem with us last month at the March service.

does my belief in You serve You or me
if once I acknowledge Your presence
what is at stake
 will You want more
 than I can give
is negotiation ever possible
is it to be a relationship of diminishing returns or do dividends multiply as familiarity grows
is little faith ever faith enough
with hesitation does the window of opportunity vanish
and all unspoken prayer become null and void
or will You honor the intent of an unvoiced plea
knowing more of the supplicant's resistance
 than the supplicant ever could
if You exist
diminish my doubt
that I might place my trust in You
there is so much that I would share
 for now
 Your belief in me
could be enough for the both of us
* * * * *
2008-2011- Los Angeles

Everyone Loves Our Kiddush Luncheons, Right?
You now have an opportunity to show your appreciation and give back to Lev Eisha for all these years of wonderful food.  Our Catering Committee needs your help - NOW!  

It's very simple: Show up an hour before the service begins and help assemble bowls and trays of food. Sounds easy, right?  It is!  With only 5 volunteers, the job can be completed in one hour.  You won't miss a minute of the service. So come on, please give us one hour of your time, so everyone can enjoy our wonderful Lev Eisha service, and the bountiful kiddush luncheon to follow.

Email Lynn at catering@leveisha.org.
Or better yet, just show up in the kitchen at 8:30 am! 
Celebrate Israel Festival
Presented by the Israeli-American Council (IAC) and with the generous support of Naty & Debbie Saidoff, Celebrate Israel Festival, the largest Jewish happening in Los Angeles, will take place on Sunday May 15, 2016 at Cheviot Hills Recreation Center (Rancho Park) located at 2551 Motor Ave. from 11am - 6pm. Over 15,000 community members will celebrate the State of Israel with live entertainment, activities, culture, food & art. 

There will be a one-mile community-wide walk sponsored by the IAC and StandWithUs at 11:00 am. For information email Rebekahs@standwithus.com.
Lev Eisha Women's Retreat - What A Weekend! 
by Barbara Brown

This past weekend, 53 women came together at the Brandeis-Bardin Campus in Simi Valley for a remarkable weekend filled with music, dance, prayer, learning, spirituality, and sharing. We enjoyed perfect weather and a beautiful natural environment. Many of us renewed old friendships and also met new friends as we explored a variety of workshop topics. It was literally "camp for grown-ups" with all the laughter, delicious food, kibbitzing, and fun! We filled our tummies and our souls. It was a time of sharing, of growth, and of peace. Women are at their most powerful when they work together!

If you were unable to join us this year, don't worry...we already have our 2017 date! Be sure to mark JANUARY 20-22, 2017 on your calendar now.

As a Lev member, you can be assured of a stimulating, warm and lovely Shabbat experience in addition to interesting workshops and discussions along with the camaraderie of other Lev friends. If you have friends or mothers or daughters who might like to give themselves a very special gift and share our retreat with you, please invite them to join the fun.

A huge and warm THANK YOU! goes to our committee - Linda Zweig, Cindy Paley, Barbara Brown, and Rabbi August. Many others also worked hard to share their gifts and make this retreat such a fabulous success: Cantor Melanie Fine, Ruth Belonsky, Joy Krauthammer, Robin Winston, Sharon Alexander, Nancy Federman, Holly Zucker, Nancy Weiss, Ruth Grossman, Cinda Roffman, Janis Cohen and the Lev Board of Directors. The great team work, friendship, and leadership was a spectacular and unbeatable combination.

Thank you to Leslie Geffen and Joy Krauthammer for capturing the weekend in the photos below.

Moments from our Weekend Retreat

Event organizers expressing their thanks and appreciation
Cindy leads some Israeli dancing.

Joy's Nature Walk
Rabbi's wonderful bibliodrama.

Bibliodrama - no one present will forget Linda/Moses' stuttering plea to Geri/Aaron!

Closing circle.

Lev Eisha
2015-16 Calendar
Breakfast & Study at 8:15am - 9:25am
Services: 9:30am-12:00pm 
Kiddush immediately following services  
April 2 
May 7* 
June 4 - last service until September

 *Breakfast before services

Oh, oh, the year is almost over!  If you have enjoyed our joyous Shabbat celebration every month, but haven't joined, please become a member.  Join online at www.leveisha.org or pick up a paper membership packet in the foyer after services.

MAZEL TOV to Barbara Brown on the birth of her 5th grandchild on March 27.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY  to the following April birthdays: 
Judy Cohen, Holly Factor, Barbara Harris, Ken Klee, Barbara Mack, Batya Malick, Linda Ofer, 
Lynn Stevens, Sue Urfrig 

I f you have a milestone to share please send it to Rose Ziff at
editor@leveisha.org.  Birthdays, weddings, graduations, Bat or Bar Mitzvot, births, special awards/honors, and exotic vacations are some of the simchas that are fun to share with our community. 

This is also the place to ask our community to join you in prayers of healing for those who are ill or in memory of those who have passed away. 
Map & Directions
Lev Eisha Shabbat Services are held at Vista Del Mar  
3200 Motor Ave., Los Angeles 90034

Click on the map for directions.

Welcome to Lev Eisha, a spiritual prayer service by and for women.  B'ruchot Ha'baot - we invite you to join us with great blessing.  We provide a joyous environment with opportunities for soulful prayer, energetic song and dance, deep Jewish study, and meditation.  Each person, in their own way, finds what they need for their personal and spiritual growth at Lev Eisha.


What makes our community so unique? The answer is reflected in our name. "Lev" means heart, and "Eisha" means woman.  When women come together with open hearts, we figuratively hold each others' hearts in profound acceptance, understanding and love.


Join us and support Lev Eisha. By attending you are giving yourself the greatest gift; time for yourself, a "spiritual fix" to keep you balanced and centered for the month. Lev Eisha will transform your Jewish  soul.