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

March 2017
March Madness
This month in sports is known for "March Madness"- a form of sports betting based on the annual NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship each spring in the United States.

We too, in our Jewish calendar, are entering "March Madness"- the holiday of Purim, which also includes a game of betting. Haman throws the dice for an arbitrary day to annihilate the Jewish people.

Madness is crazy. Nothing makes sense or is as it should be. A king should rule his country and not party for 180 days. The viceroy of the king should also be looking out for what is best for the people instead of trying to destroy them all.  The Purim story teaches that the alternative to madness is having community.  Esther had to know her people were fasting with her and supporting her as she courageously faced down the king and Haman.
 
We have each other at Lev Eisha. Join us this Shabbat, March 4 th, for our Purim service. Sing your favorite songs, participate in uplifting prayer and contemplation and visit with your friends. The Rabbi's teaching will be about "The Masks We Wear - Why We Put them On, and When to Take Them Off."

Services start at 9:30 am, led by Rabbi August and Cantorial Soloist Cindy Paley. 
Readings are from the book of Exodus. Be sure to stay for a delicious kiddush luncheon after services,  sponsored by Rabbi August in honor of the birthdays of her daughter, Lena, Xavier Atkins, and Rose Ziff; by  Eileen Ettinger in honor of her 75th birthday and that of her husband, Victor. Added funds were donated by Helen Budin in honor of the upcoming marriage of her granddaughter, Gabriel Hakimian, to Tomer Ipale. 
In This Issue
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310-575-0985

Lev Board of Directors
2016-2017

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 member

Phyllis Shear

If you have been enjoying our monthly services and Rabbi's teachings, please support us by becoming a member. It's never too late!! You can renew your Lev membership online - click  HERE .  Or pick up a paper membership packet after services on Saturday.
We Are Grateful
Thank you to Irene Perer for her donation in memory of her mother, Bessie Waldman, on her yarhzeit; in honor of the birth of her first grandson, Benjamin Isaac Perer; and in honor of the 40th birthday of her son, Charlie Perer.
International Women's Day

International Women's Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women's Day 2017 will be celebrated on March 8. For more info and details on how you can participate:

Give Yourself a Gift
Join us for Day of Learning 2017 as we explore universal themes set against the backdrop of Pesach. 
  • Rabbi Janet Madden will guide us toward ridding ourselves of our spiritual chumetz. 
  • Rabbi Jill  Zimmerman will direct us in using mindfulness to a greater sense of self and inner peace.  
  • Rabbi Toba August will help us find deeper meaning in our Passover Seder and our unique selves.
LEV EISHA'S ANNUAL DAY OF LEARNING
Sunday, April 2, 2017
8:30 - 4:30
The Holy Spirit Retreat Center
4316 Lanai Rd, Encino, CA 91436 

$60 includes a full day of learning  plus continental breakfast and lunch.

To register or for more information: visit our website or  contact 
Linda at: lindaleezweig@gmail.com
(760) 861-4791
I've Got That Shabbat Feeling...by Judy Fishman
One of the things I love about our new venue is the parking lot.  
I look forward to leaving my routine behind as I walk from the car to Beth Shir Shalom for our Lev Eisha service each month.  The brief walk helps me get into the mind frame for services. Afterwards, I am more cognizant of nature around me as I'm walking back to my car. This helps me extend the feeling of the Lev services and community.
   Revealing What is Hidden 
by Rabbi August
I just finished watching the Oscars. It occurred to me that the upset at the end, where the wrong film was declared the best picture, reflects the upside-down world of the Purim story, where nothing is like what it is supposed to be. Those who are called winners end up not being the winners!  Irony and disbelief is always present and everything seems to be unpredictable and left to chance!  Like our current political climate and the Oscar upsets, the Purim tale is timeless, relevant and familiar.

Let's see how the upcoming holiday of Purim can continue to be instructive and a guide to navigate the world we live in.  We usually think Purim is a fun-filled filled time of carnivals, costumes, masks, Hamentaschen and groggers. This is our usual experience of Purim.

In truth, it is so much more.  Sharing insights from the well-known scholar Avivah Zornberg's article on Purim, we are told that the Megillah, or scroll of Esther. presents a paradox.  The literal meaning of Megillah is "to reveal" and the meaning of "Esther" is "that which is hidden." Right away we sense that by reading the Megillah on Purim we are revealing a hidden message - the secret of the holiday.

Queen Esther enters the world of a pompous, volatile and ineffectual king who drunkenly rules and is easily influenced by those around him. The anti-Semitic Haman uses inflated rhetoric, and wants to kill all the Jews because Mordecai, one Jewish man refuses to bow down. The king allows this evil to proceed.

Like the current political rhetoric, Zornberg explains that, "...overblown language reflects chaos and insecurity....in contrast to effective, measured and controlled language which reflects a just and ordered world."

The first reason to read the Megillah is to remind ourselves to bring back order into a chaotic world. We can bring back the art of politics and civil discourse instead of the polarization and oppositional stances that govern today.

The second lesson we learn is through the character of Esther. First, she is told by Mordecai to be silent and not reveal her identity. But after the genocidal degree, she is told to do something and act!  Esther is afraid. If she goes to the King without being summoned, she will be killed. Yet somehow, this young woman figures it out. She fasts, prays, finds a spark of courage and ingenuity.

Esther, instead of facing the dismal reality, says YES to the world of possibilities, and is called "...the center of surprise in the universe."
This concluding message for us during this tumultuous time is to glimpse the unknown future of possibilities in spite of our fears.

May we all be influenced by the miracle of Purim, and like Queen Esther find hope and unknown possibilities during uncertain times. May we
each have the courage of Esther and through our choices and actions bring hope, justice and vision back to our country. 

AMEN.
LEV EISHA CALENDAR 2017

Breakfast & Study at 8:15am - 9:25am
Services: 9:30am-12:00pm 
Kiddush immediately following services  
 
March 4
April 1*
April 2 - Day of Learning - Holy Spirit Retreat Center
May 6 
June 3* - last service until September

 *Breakfast and teaching before services

Milestones

HAPPY BIRTHDAY  to the following March birthdays: 
Myrna Barth, Nicole Crouch, Eileen Ettinger, Leslie Geffen, Judy Kollack,
Arielle Singer, Ellen Sternfeld,  Rose Ziff

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.