Pacific Jewish Center | Rabbi

The Rabbi on the Beach @ The Shul on the Beach

10 Week Anniversary Post

It has been 10 weeks since I began blogging on this site.

The response has been great with lots of visitors finding the site by mistake and intentionally.

I thought a nice round-up of some of my favorite posts from the blog would be helpful.

This is not a comprehensive list, just a variety to give you a taste of what goes on on this blog.

So here goes… Read the rest of this entry »

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Active Learning

In the last week I have read two articles in the NY Times that echo similar sentiments. I am proud to say that both of these sentiments are understood and utilized in the Yeshiva system.

The first (earlier) article talks about the 4 R’s – wait I thought there were only 3 R’s¬†¬†reading, writing and arithmetic – the fourth R is recess. I blogged about recess once before. I am on the case again today.

It seems that generally educators looked at recess as a necessary evil. It would inhumane to corral children in stuffy classrooms for 8 hours a day with no break so we are forced to provide some time for recess. Research shows a different attitude. Read the rest of this entry »

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Purim, Doubt, Clarity and Amalek | Connections 2/23/09

Last week we began our Purim learning. (Recommended listening)

Tonight we continued our learning about Purim. Often misunderstood and misused, Purim deserves better treatment than that.

We journeyed through the book of Genesis, The Scroll of Esther and the Talmud in search of meaning and reason. Why is Purim named after the lottery that Haman cast? Why did Haman cast a lottery?

We answered a lot of questions tonight. The basic idea is universal but much of it is in the name of Rabbi Shneur Kotler.

Make sure you listen through the end because I forgot to answer one of our questions until one of the attendees reminded me during the questions :).

It’s all online and you can click through to listen to the class.

Read the rest of this entry »

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“Orange” you glad Tropicana is going back!

I am sure you have noticed the new Tropicana Advertisements.

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The ads are concurrent with their new branding and packaging. The ads are noted for their use of male figures (that is pretty rare…).

Now the ads are being pulled and the packaging is returning to the old packaging which we all remember and love.

tropicana Read the rest of this entry »

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Do Not Send Your Money To Nigeria!

I just found this on the NY Times website. Citibank is my bank. I love their service and they have a great online banking website. Unfortunately there are people who run the bank who may have brains the size of peanuts (not very big).

We all get emails that try to elicit our personal information. The scammers want us send them our personal information. Then they use that information to build trust and then BAM! you get scammed for millions of dollars.

Most people do not fall for these scams.

Sometimes people do. Read the rest of this entry »

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Messilas Yesharim 02/15/09

This week we did a review of the first way Ramchal provides to inspire us to be watchful. This is a method useful for very spiritual people who just need a small push to get them started on the path of watchfulness. Then we went over the second way to become watchful. This way is for the type of person who senses and feels his portion in the next world as real and tangible.

What about the rest of us? That is what we began this week. We concluded with a very interesting irony in the way GD deals with his closest adherents. Next week we take it all to the next level.

You can listen to the class by clicking through.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Kosher Navigation

I love technology. My world is full of iPhones, digital cameras, blogs and Wii. There are a lot of people who adhere to a stricter Jewish lifestyle than mine. Their world is without these toys. The main objection to these tech toys is the access they provide to content that could be dangerous to a spiritual lifestyle. Read the rest of this entry »

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Comments On America’s Standard of Living

Today I read about the declining standard of living in our country. Salaries are coming down, more and more people are getting laid off and credit is harder to find.

“Rampant consumerism” will be a necessary casualty of the current economy. That is a good thing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Time Marches On

This article hit me in a very interesting way today.

I am not that old. I am 27 years young. I slowly began to notice becoming older when certain milestones occurred. First, I noticed athletes whom I can remember their debuts, retiring. I am not talking about those athletes who are only around for a year or two. I am talking about those guys who have loooooong careers and are part of the very fabric of the game for a generation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scoffers, Purim and the Measure of a Man | Connections 2/16/09

This week at Connections we began to unlock some of the secrets of Purim.

We began with Amalek the ancient nemesis of the Jewish People. We learned about their essence and how to eradicate that flaw from within ourselves.

One of the most profound ideas I have ever heard was also discussed. How to measure a man. What is the primary factor in determining the value of a person.

We also touched upon drinking on Purim.

Purim will be our theme for the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more!

It’s all online and you can click through to listen to the class.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Sheva Brachos for Josh Magilnick

The Magilnicks of Venice / Santa Monica made a wedding last week. The Jewish custom is to celebrate the wedding with 7 days of parties if and when the bride and groom are present. Any time the bride and groom are present and there is a party there are 7 beautiful blessings which are bestowed upon the bride and groom. These parties and the blessings share a name. They are called Sheva (7) Brachos (Blessings).

Traditionally, there are several short speeches laced with blessings and good wishes for the bride, groom and their families.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Messilas Yesharim 02/15/09

Last week PJC was honored with a guest speaker and the Messilas Yesharim class took a one week siesta. The class returned this week.

We took another step forward along the “Pathway of the Just”. We continued Chapter 4 and learned how to channel our thirst for respect into inspiration for growth.

We also had a discussion about using all your talents for good. Each of our character traits can be used to help us if used properly. The question is if we are capable of channeling our abilities or if they are masters over us.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Clothes and the NBA

You thought I was done with clothes?

Not at all. The NBA had huge image issue a few years back. The image issue resulted from a few on the court incidents along with the perception that hip-hop culture was a) dangerous b) a major part of the NBA players lives’.

Commissioner David Stern sought to change the culture of the NBA as well as the public’s perception of the NBA. Stern enacted a dress code. Read the rest of this entry »

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New (Old) Audio Class Added

I have just added the first Connections class from early December.

The link to the audio is there as well as the podcasts section to the right…

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Don’t Be A Hater

Here is a video for you.

Those who know me personally will attest that I am not a card carrying member of the “Woe is us, anti-anti-semitism” club. However, I did recently blog about tolerance and therefore this video clip is relevant. I do not endorse any comments made by the person who posted this video on You Tube. The only reason I am posting this video is to illustrate that Hate exists. Hate is ugly and Hate needs to stop.

I make these comments to address those who may hate me or us from outside of Judaism and equally to my Jewish brethren. Read the rest of this entry »

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This Is My Blog

You have arrived at a place in cyberspace featuring the thoughts, ramblings, musings and Torah of Eliyahu Fink.

If you like what you have found come join us at the The Shul on the Beach. You know the Shul on the Venice boardwalk - you've seen it, right?

Scroll down to the bottom of this sidebar to see some of my pictures of the Pacific Jewish Center just before sundown on a Friday Evening.

Well, we are there every Friday Night and Saturday Morning for services.

Come check us out! You will feel something special in the air. I guarantee it.

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If you have any questions for the Rabbi please click here to privately and confidentially send me your question.

Please include, gender, religion, level of observance and age in your question.

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- Eliyahu Fink

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