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

Our next service will be Saturday, September 2.
Message From Our Co-Presidents
Dear Lev Eisha Friends,

Welcome to our very exciting 18th year - Get "Chai" With Lev!

Lev Eisha has grown from a small gathering of dedicated women to a substantial Women's Minyan where we wholeheartedly embrace our mission: a joyous community of Jewish women engaged in prayer, study, and spiritual growth. We are proud that Lev Eisha is a fully inclusive community...all are welcome!

As we begin our second year at Beth Shir Shalom, we recall with fondness our beginnings in Newmark Hall at Adat Shalom, our move  into their main sanctuary, and then our years at Vista del Mar. 

While our venue has changed with time, our commitment to our members, led by our professional and layleaders, remains steadfast.  Our board continues to enhance the Lev experience, and our catering team nourishes us with beautiful and delicious breakfasts and kiddush lunches.  Rabbi Toba August's wisdom and insights speak to each of us and nurture our quest for spirituality while enriching our connection to and our understanding of Judaism. Cindy Paley brings her enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of Jewish music to every service and Lev event. 

Through Rabbi, Cindy, and the talented musicians on our bimah, the unique energy and warmth of a Lev Eisha Shabbat service is unmistakable.  The music and sense of spiritual fulfillment carries us forward throughout the week and month until our next service.

We encourage you to bring your friends and introduce them to our warm and welcoming community.  We look forward to a wonderfully fulfilling 18th year with you. 

Barbara Brown & Janis Cohen
Lev Eisha Co-Presidents

Dear Lev Eisha Friends,

By now your membership packets should have found their way to your mailbox.   Please take a moment to complete and mail back with your check.  Or even easier - click HERE and sign up online for another wonderful year of Lev Eisha.

You won't want to miss our exciting 18th year activities, starting with our Sept. 2 service.  Read more below...


Get Chai With Lev!
We are going to kick off our 18th - Chai Year - with a very exciting event.  Our Sept. 2 service will include a performance by Jewish Women's Theatre, to include a few pieces from The Art of Forgiveness. These readings continue to inspire audiences, taking on a new meaning, especially coupled with our spiritual Shabbat service and teachings from Rabbi August.

Please arrive PROMPTLY at 9:30am to fully enjoy our regular service enhanced by the JWT performance, and still ending at our usual time. And of course, our delicious kiddush luncheon will follow.

Invite your family and friends to join you at this creative and meaningful Shabbat.

New Giving Opportunity
Are you listening?  As you know, we are now 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. 

Click HERE to listen to Rabbi's sermons.  

If you would like to see this new program expanded so each of Rabbi's sermons can be enjoyed by others, please consider making a donation of $100 to Lev Eisha.  This is the cost for us to record and post the sermons. Donors will be acknowledged on our Lev Eisha website as well as in our monthly seat flyer and Newsletter. 

Please help Lev Eisha reach out to our community!  Online donations can be made HERE, or you can mail your check to Lev Eisha, 
10736 Jefferson Blvd  # 706,  Culver City, CA 90230

Board of Directors 2017-18
Lev Eisha Board of Directors
Standing: (left to right): Linda Zweig, Carolyn Wispe Burns, Susie Yuré, Rose Ziff, Joan Spiegel, Robin Winston, Ruth Grossman, Gail Heim, Lynn Beliak, Wendy Aleman, Judy Fishman.

Seated: Janis Cohen, Rabbi August, Barbara Brown
In This Issue
Quick Links
Join Our List
Contact Us!
310-575-0985
Lev Board of Directors
2017-2018

Co-Presidents: Janis Cohen & Barbara Brown
Treasurer-Ruth Grossman
Secretary-Wendy Aleman
Membership-Robin Winston
Catering: Lynn Beliak
Ritual-Judy Fishman
Hospitality-Joan Spiegel
Marketing-Rose Ziff
Outreach-Gail Heim
Women's Retreat-Linda Zweig
Past President-Susie Yuré

Advisory Council
Rachelle Neshkes
Holly Zucker
We Are Grateful
Thank you to our generous donors:
  • In honor of Robin Winston's 60th birthday:
    Isaac Pachulski
    Dana Fein
    Michael Rosove
     
    Ellen Zucker, in honor of Joy Krauthammer's birthday
     
    Joan Grossman, in honor of the marriage of Judy Fishman's son
     
    Tonia Agron, "in memory of my husband, Gene Agro n"

LEV EISHA CALENDAR 2017-18

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

Sept. 2 With Jewish Women's Theatre 
*Oct. 7
Nov. 4
*Dec. 2
Jan. 6
*Feb. 3
March 3
*April 7 (includes a Yizkor service)
May 5
*June 2

*Breakfast and study before services
 

Message from the Rabbi
After the lowest point of the year, in the heat of the summer when we observe Tisha B'Av, a  day of remembering our people's losses, we start to heal.
 
The next seven weeks, leading to Rosh Hashanah, are called the Shabbatot of Consolation.  We know that if we examine and review our actions, do Teshuvah and ask for forgiveness, God w ill pay attention and healing will come.
 
At our Lev Eisha board retreat, I shared a teaching from Rav Avraham Kook.  In it he said: " Our rabbis taught that the Second Temple was destroyed because of   sinat chinam -baseless and senseless hatred. If we were destroyed, and the world with us, due to baseless hatred, then we shall rebuild ourselves, and the world with us, with   baseless love   - Ahavat Chinam Rav Kook (Orot HaKodesh vol. III, p. 324)

Please read this f or inspiration on how to bring more love into your heart :

Three Weeks: Rebuilding the World with Love
Rectifying Baseless Hatred
This call for baseless love could be interpreted as following Maimonides' advice on how to correct bad character traits. In the fourth chapter of Shemonah Perakim, Maimonides taught that negative traits are corrected by temporarily overcompensating and practicing the opposite extreme. For example, one who is naturally stingy should balance this trait by acting overly generous, until he succeeds in uprooting his miserliness. Similarly, by going to the extreme of ahavat chinam, we repair the trait of sinat chinam.

This interpretation, however, is not Rav Kook's line of thought.
Ahavat chinam is not a temporary remedy, but an ideal, the result of our perception of the world's underlying unity and goodness.

The Source of Hatred
Why do we hate others? We may think of many reasons, but these explanations are not the real source for our hatred of other people. They are merely signs and indications of our hatred. It is a lack of clarity of thought that misleads us into believing that these are the true causes of hatred.

The true source of hate comes from our otzar hachaim, our inner resource of life. This fundamental life-force pushes us to live and thrive, and opposes all that it views as different and threatening. Ultimately, our hate is rooted in sinat chinam - groundless and irrational animosity, just because something is different.

Yet even in hatred lies a hidden measure of love. Baseless love and baseless hatred share a common source, a love of life and the world. This common source hates that which is evil and destructive, and loves that which is good and productive.

How can we overcome our hatred? If we can uncover the depth of good in what we perceive as negative, we will be able to see how good will result even from actions and ideas that we oppose. We will then recognize that our reasons for hatred are unfounded, and transform our hatred into love and appreciation.

'I Burn with Love'
This idea of ahavat chinam was not just a theoretical concept. Rav Kook was well-known for his profound love for all Jews, even those far removed from Torah and mitzvot. When questioned why he loved Jews distant from the ideals of Torah, he would respond:"Better I should err on the side of baseless love, than I should err on the side of baseless hatred.

Stories abound of Rav Kook's extraordinary love for other Jews, even those intensely antagonistic to his ways and beliefs. Once Rav Kook was publicly humiliated by a group of extremists who showered him with waste water in the streets of Jerusalem. The entire city was in an uproar over this scandalous act. The legal counsel of the British Mandate advised Rav Kook to press charges against the hooligans, promising that they would be promptly deported from the country.

The legal counsel, however, was astounded by the Chief Rabbi's response.
"I have no interest in court cases. Despite what they did to me, I love them. I am ready to kiss them, so great is my love! I burn with love for every Jew."

Practical Steps towards Ahavat Chinam
In his magnum opus Orot HaKodesh, Rav Kook gave practical advice on how to achieve this love.
  • Love for the Jewish people does not start from the heart, but from the head. To truly love and understand the Jewish people - each individual Jew and the nation as a whole - requires a wisdom that is both insightful and multifaceted. This intellectual inquiry is an important discipline of Torah study.
  • Loving others does not mean indifference to baseness and moral decline. Our goal is to awaken knowledge and morality, integrity and refinement; to clearly mark the purpose of life, its purity and holiness. Even our acts of loving-kindness should be based on a hidden Gevurah, an inner outrage at the world's - and thus our own - spiritual failures.
  • If we take note of others' positive traits, we will come to love them with an inner affection. This is not a form of insincere flattery, nor does it mean white-washing their faults and foibles. But by concentrating on their positive characteristics - and every person has a good side - the negative aspects become less significant.
  • This method provides an additional benefit. The Sages cautioned against joining with the wicked and exposing oneself to their negative influences. But if we connect to their positive traits, then this connection will not endanger our own moral and spiritual purity.
  • We can attain a high level of love for Israel by deepening our awareness of the inner ties that bind together all the souls of the Jewish people, throughout all the generations. In the following revealing passage, Rav Kook expressed his own profound sense of connection with and love for every Jewish soul: "Listen to me, my people! I speak to you from my soul, from within my innermost soul. I call out to you from the living connection by which I am bound to all of you, and by which all of you are bound to me. I feel this more deeply than any other feeling:
"That only you - all of you, all of your souls, throughout all of your generations - you alone are the meaning of my life. In you I live. In the aggregation of all of you, my life has that content that is called 'life.' Without you, I have nothing. All hopes, all aspirations, all purpose in life, all that I find inside myself - these are only when I am with you. I need to connect with all of your souls. I must love you with a boundless love....
 
"Each one of you, each individual soul from the aggregation of all of you, is a great spark from the torch of infinite light which enlightens my existence. You give meaning to life and work, to Torah and prayer, to song and hope. It is through the conduit of your being that I sense everything and love everything." (Shemonah Kevatzim, vol. I sec. 163)

(Adapted from Orot HaKodesh vol. III, pp. 324-334; Malachim K'vnei Adam pp. 262, 483-485) 
Lev Members on Summer Vacations


Robin Winston and Myrna Kayton in Yosemite.



Rabbi August enjoying NYC.
  

Barbara Brown takes Lev to Crete.
LISTEN to Cindy in Poland
Cindy Paley just returned from Poland, where she performed Yiddish concerts and presented workshops with the Jewish communities of Krakow, Warsaw, Gdansk, Lublin and Zielona Gora. Rabbi Haim Beliak, together with Beit Polska and Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland, made this trip possible.  Click HERE to listen to excerpts from her concerts.

Celebrate Your Birthday With Lev!
Birthdays are a special time in our lives that we celebrate.  Each year is a  gift.

We, at Lev Eisha, love to celebrate. When you sponsor a kiddush or breakfast in honor of your birthday, we are able to provide the bountiful meals which everyone enjoys.  Please consider sharing your birthday with Lev Eisha. 

Please click HERE to donate on our website. Don't forget to complete the form online so we get all the information.

If you prefer to send a check, please send to: 
Lev Eisha
            10736 Jefferson Blvd  # 706
            Culver City, CA 90230
Be sure to include all the details of your sponsorship.

We want to recognize your sponsorship in the newsletter and seat flyer. So please send your payment no later than the 20th of the month prior to the sponsorship.

Questions?  Click HERE to contact Lynn, our Catering Chair.

Is your birthday not acknowledged in our Milestones column?  Perhaps we don't have your info!  Be sure and send a quick email to editor@leveisha.org so we can include you in our monthly birthday greeting.    
Milestones


HAPPY BIRTHDAY  to the following friends who are celebrating August birthdays:

Ellie Belilove,  Lee Fischer,  Myrna Gale,  Barbara Haberman,  Beth Koonan,  Shayna Lester,  Lois Miller,  Ellie Sherman-Quinn,  Karen Weinstein

Do you have an August birthday and we didn't acknowledge it? Please send us your birth month and we will be glad to wish you a Happy Birthday!

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

Directions:

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)
LOOK FOR THE PURPLE BALLOONS!




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.