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

December 2015
The Season of Light
This is the season of light. Where do you find the light in your life? Join us on Saturday, December 5 and share the light with your Lev Eisha community.  We will begin at 8:15 with a light breakfast and teaching by Rabbi August.

Shabbat Services follow at 9:30, led by Rabbi August and Cantorial Soloist Cindy Paley.  Readings are from the book of  Bereshit.

Our breakfast is sponsored by Annette Levey, in memory of her mother, Ethel Leah Levey.  Be sure to stay for a delicious kiddush luncheon, sponsored by Rabbi August in memory of our late president and dearest friend Marla Osband, z"l - May her memory be an inspiration and blessing, and in celebration of the birth of Lyanna Hannah Rosenfield, to Rochelle Neshkes and Aaron Rosenfield; by Edith Ballonoff, in honor of Lynn Beliak's 67th birthday; and by Hilda Mills in honor of her 81st birthday and in memory of her husband Sheldon Mills.
In This Issue
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310-575-0985
 
Our Members and Donors Light the Way

We welcome the many new and renewing members this month. Forgot to sign up?  It's not too late!! You can renew your Lev membership online - click HERE.  Or pick up a paper membership packet after services on Saturday.

Thank you to the following members who renewed for another wonderful year of Lev:

Eve Axelrad,  Sandy Luboviski,  Andrea Nitz
Levi Buckholtz,  Suzanne Buckholtz,  Deena G. Gordon
Carol Kaufman,  Shoshi Wilchfort

Our generous donors this month are:
Sandy Luboviski in memory of Marla Osband
Linda Zweig in memory of Marla Osband
Rose Ziff  - 1 prayerbook in memory of Marla Osband
Lynda Malerstein - 2 prayerbooks in memory of Marla Osband
Barbara Brown - 1 prayerbook in honor of Judy Blake and her sister Joanie Mass and 1 prayerbook in memory of my dear friend Marla Osband 
Who Will Be Our 100th Member?

We are getting close to 100 members - who will win the prize?  Again this year we are offering a special gift and Rabbi August will give an honor at a Lev Eisha service, to our 100th member.  If you haven't already joined or renewed, give yourself a Hanukkah gift and do it now!
Jacob, Israel, Our Souls and the Hanukkah Lights   by Rabbi August
Since Biblical times we have been called "the children of Israel." Many of us know that "Israel" is the new name given to Jacob, the third Biblical patriarch, after he wrestled with the angel.
Jacob's original name grew from the noun " ekev" literally meaning "the heel." He was the second twin to be born and was grasping at his brother's heel, as if to pull him back into the womb so he could be the first born. From that time on, Jacob was depicted as the trickster - devious, manipulative and dishonest. In the Jewish tradition, our names are associated with our character and our destiny. Jacob certainly had work to do to change his character and destiny.
Years passed; Jacob matured and his old name did not serve him. His wrestling with the stranger represented "re-arranging" his inner self and confronting his dark side. He needed to reconcile with his brother and could only do so with a different nature. The brother who "grasped," the taker, had to become the giver. The brother who only cared about himself now had to care about his twin.
Yet, even with a changed name, Jacob kept both identities; in the Torah, depending on his actions, either of his names is used. Though he evolved, his soul was like a flame and contained different colors, different aspects of himself. Like the lights of the Hanukkah candles, the blues, purples, orange and yellow colors represent parts of our souls.
The lowest part, closest to the wick, is Nefesh. Like Jacob and his early needs for the blessings of the firstborn, this part of the soul still strongly identified with the body and is materialistic. It shows little sense of others besides the self.
         The second level is Ruach.This reflects Jacob's dreams and emotions, and the way he is beginning to become reflective and express remorse. When we stare at the Hanukkah candles, we move to this contemplative place, but we can still go deeper. The candle flickers and moves upward, just like our soul which is yearning to evolve higher.
The yellow light in the candle's flame is our Neshama, the part of our soul which developed empathy and is aware of others.  Jacob wrestled with himself and we can only imagine the tears of shame, regret and desire to change. His name is changed to Israel because in his wrestling he envisioned new possibilities, and was finally able to forgive himself and see the face of the Divine in his brother. Reconciliation was now possible.
       The stages of our soul - like the growth of Jacob in the Torah - are reflected in the Hanukkah candles! Like the candles, we too are restless. And like the restless candles, we too are sometimes like Jacob and sometimes like Israel.
The Hassidim call the movement of the flickering candles  Rotzo V'shuv -yearning and returning.
Our time with the Hanukkah candles reminds us that though we crave serenity, the truth is we really want to dance!  Our souls are always on the move. Dynamic, restless and in motion, like the flames of the candles.
Let the Hanukkah lights inspire us to laugh and love, to be 
curious, to have passion and fight for justice. Let us hear and see what needs to be fixed and find the empathy in our Neshama - the higher level of our souls - to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others.

Happy Hanukkah to us all!
Lev Goes to Vienna!
Barb and Marv Brown visited the Belvedere Museum, which originally housed the famous Klimt painting, Woman in Gold.
         

Lev Eisha
2015-16 Calendar
 
Breakfast & Study at 8:15am - 9:25am
Services: 9:30am-12:00pm 
Kiddush immediately following services  
 
December 5* 
January 9, 2016 
February 6* 
March 5*
March 25-27 Lev Eisha Women's Retreat  
April 2 
May 7* 
June 4

 *Breakfast before services 
Our Resident Poet

Words from Sarah Barash, our resident poet. 
  

thirst

in the early hours of the morning
the sun's promise brushes the horizon
while at my side a cup rests brimful to overflow
by mid-morning a surfeit of everyday tasks diverts me
while still the cup sits undisturbed
when night closes in I, long parched,
yield to a wearisome sleep
where I dream of fertile fields
I awake and unnerved by its proximity
I jostle the cup and it overturns
with fingers trembling I reach to right an empty cup
that righted remains brim full
moved by its constancy
I succumb to drink deeply
ever thirsty from the cup that's ever full
 
HaShem ,
How Your Presence lifts me up when I've thought life's let me down.
How like a circle without end is Your Faith in me and mine in You.
How Faith replenished and replenished and replenished,
Creates the realization of the dream denied.
 
come drink from the cup my friends
come drink from the cup with me
 
* * * * *
 
for all my children

Rosh Hashanna, 2010 - Los Angeles

Milestones 
Mazel Tov to Leslie Geffen on the birth of her grandson, Ilan Ner Geffen Arnold on November 16.

Mazel Tov
to the following December birthdays:
Lorraine Factor, Sara Fields, Hilda Mills, Shoshi Wilchfort, Linda Zweig

If you have a December birthday, why aren't we acknowledging it?  Because you haven't told us!  Come on, let us know, share your simcha!

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.