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

April 2017
Our next service will be Saturday, April 1
April Antics
Spring is here, a time for "renewal" and new beginnings.  Passover is always appropriately a springtime holiday as it reflects a people leaving  their slavery and oppressed mentality behind as they experience an Exodus,  a journey to a promised land.
Join us this Shabbat as we too, can figuratively journey from any constrictions that
"enslave" us. With Lev's joyous prayers, songs, friendships and teachings, we can
journey together to a greater freedom and openness of mind, body and soul!  We are also starting a "new" book this Shabbat, Vayidra/Leviticus, the third book of the Torah.  This is another new beginning.

The morning breakfast teaching will be a "mystical" seder experience. We will learn how each one o f the 15 steps in the order of the Passover seder is a way to learn more about ourselves, intellectually,  spiritually and emotionally.  This is an exciting opening to our upcoming Passover celebration.

Services start at 9:30 am, led by Rabbi August and Cantorial Soloist Cindy Paley. 
Readings are from the book of Exodus.  Breakfast and lunch are being sponsored by Gail Haim with additional funds from Lynn Beliak in honor of Joan Spiegel for all the wonderful cakes she bakes each month and to Barbara Goldstone, Judy Sherman and Barbra Bolle, who serve on the catering committee.  All of the Lev Eisha ladies appreciate all you do to make our bountiful and delicious meals.
In This Issue
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Lev Board of Directors

President-Janis Cohen
Treasurer-Ruth Grossman
Secretary-Wendy Aleman
Membership-Robin Winston
Catering: Lynn Beliak
Ritual-Judy Fishman
Hospitality-Joan Spiegel
Marketing-Rose Ziff
Outreach-Holly Zucker & Gail Heim
Past President-Barbara Brown
Women's Retreat-Linda Zweig
Welcome to Lev Eisha
A warm welcome to new members
Sandi Cantor and Carly Wasserman
We Are Grateful
Thank you to our generous donors:
  • Janis Biederman, "in memory of my mother Ada Biederman's yahrzeit." 
  • Nancy Federman, in honor of Barbara Axelband -  "many thanks for your hospitality."  
  • Gail Heim, "in honor of Suzanne & Stuart Schweitzer, who recently celebrated their 50th anniversary."
Listen to Rabbi August Online!
We are offering a brand new feature so you can enjoy listening to Rabbi August's teachings on our website!  It's a wonderful way to revisit Rabbi's sermons - or hear them for the first time if you missed our Lev Eisha service. Please share your comments as we continue to enhance the special Lev Eisha experience. You will see an area for comment as you listen.

Click HERE to listen to Rabbi's December sermon.  You can also visit our website, www.leveisha.org, and click on the "Community" tab, where you will see a drop-down menu with "Teachings from Rabbi August." 

More sermons coming your way!

Passover: A Celebration of "Redemption"   
by Rabbi August
While studying about Passover, a colleague asked me to explain what "redemption" means, and how I understand this term. I told her, "it's a challenge, but I know that redemption is the first step towards "salvation." 

That obviously did not help at all!

I can, however, explain this word by examining one aspect of the Passover story. In Exodus, Chapter Two, it states: "It came to pass...that the king of Egypt died. The children of Israel sighed and groaned because of their bondage, and they cried out, and their cry rose up to God..."

Why now, only after the older Pharaoh dies, did the people start to cry out? Why not before?

The tradition teaches that until this point, the Israelite slaves were so shut down, they could not "feel" how terrible things were. They had hoped that when Pharaoh died, their situation might improve with a new king. Only when their burdens became even worse did they protest and bewail their fate.  In Chapter Six, God says, "I will bring you forth from beneath the 'sufferings' (sivlot) of Egypt." This meant that the people could no longer ''suffer with" (lisvol) the degradation of enslavement. All hope was crushed with an even more ruthless new Pharaoh, and thus the Israelites were jolted from their passivity and finally cried out! 

Can you remember a time when you have been in such denial that you could not even experience your pain? Have you ever felt so hopeless that you were literally, "in exile," alienated from your true inner self?

Like the Israelites, we can "wake up" and demand to be set free from "exile" and returned to our essential selves. The stirring of hope, the awareness and desire for change starts the process called redemption.

The Hassidic rabbi called the Sefat Emet taught that the "death" of the king of Egypt can be understood as the "death" of our inner Pharaoh which has kept us enslaved to despair and desperation.  The Sefat Emet suggests that self transformation arouses the redemptive "help" of God. God hears the anguished cries of a people when they finally become aware of their dreadful reality. It is only by acknowledging pain, crying out and finding faith in the possibility for change that the exodus, the redemption, can begin! 

I offer, in conclusion, a contemporary definition:
Redemption is the release from repetitive reactions to situations in your life that don't serve or enliven you.

Consider this possibility as you and your families enjoy a "Chag Sameach" - a healthy and joyful Passover celebration.


Breakfast & Study at 8:15am - 9:25am
Services: 9:30am-12:00pm 
Kiddush immediately following services  

April 1*
May 6 
June 3* - last service until September

 *Breakfast and teaching before services


HAPPY BIRTHDAY  to the following friends who are celebrating birthdays this month:  

Holly Factor, Suzanne Gallant, Barbara Harris, Barbara
Mack, Batya Malick, Linda Ofer, Lynn Stevens, Carly Wasserman, 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 Beth Shir Shalom,
1827 California Ave. Santa Monica, 90403


To Beth Shir Shalom
Take the 405 Fwy North or South to the 10 Fwy Westbound.  
Exit the 10 Fwy at Cloverfield/26th Street 
Turn right onto Cloverfield.  
Turn left at Colorado. 
Turn right onto 20th Street.  Continue straight, past Wilshire, one block, to California. 
Turn left onto California Avenue.  Go 1-1/2 blocks. Beth Shir Shalom will be on the right.

To parking lot
Follow above directions to get to 20th Street and turn right.
Turn right at Wilshire. 
Parking lot will be on the right behind the V Lounge.  (See map below)

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.