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The Rabbi on the Beach @ The Shul on the Beach

Atheists and Believers LA Times Smackdown

Flamewar” is a prolonged exchange of deliberately hostile messages over the Internet. – Wikipedia

Last week I blogged about the battle of the wings. The political Left Wing and the Right Wing are battling it out to the death.

The vitriol and hyperbole on both sides is so disproportionate with reality. Left wingers are not communists and right wingers are not corporate overlords. We are all really much closer to the middle.

One area that there is no real middle is on the issue of God.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Sad News Post

We are all aware of the economic uncertainty in our country right now. A little while back, I wrote about how the Yeshivas and Day Schools for Jewish children and teens are being pinched.

Things are looking slightly improved since then. Unfortunately, the situation has not yet completely reversed course.

I have criticized the media in the past. It bothers me when the news that is reported is all negative and virtually ignores all the good in our world.

Once in a while there will be some “feel good” news story to push back the critics of negative media.

Today I saw a negative news item that was presented so well that I feel it is necessary to share. The point was made so well, with such class, professionalism and sensitivity that it was moving.

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Birkas Hachama

Once every 28 years the Jewish people give thanks for the sun. Why once every 28 years? Because the sun returns to the exact spot in the horizon once every 28 years. This is what we celebrate when we make the blessing once every 28 years.

You can read all about it in the LA Times. I am even quoted in the article! My first time in the LA Times. Thanks to Duke Helfand for putting such a great article together.

Today Jews all of the world made the blessing for the sun.

You can read about a lot of these celebrations and see their photos here.

One of the last places in the continental United States to make this blessing was the Pacific Jewish Center. Read the rest of this entry »

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California Dreaming No Longer?

Go East, young man? Californians look for the exit – Yahoo News

This article gives all the doom and gloom figures to make you want to leave California. But California living is not all about facts and figures. California living is about living in the most progressive state in the Country. It is about living in a place where ideas are allowed to grow. I was discussing this idea with a classmate of mine at Law School – Calvin Ngo, who is from the Washington D.C. area, that when you live somewhere that is warm you never need to bundle up. When you bundle up you not only close your bod off to the world but I think it also closes your heart a little. When you are wrapped so tightly on the outside it has an effect on your “inside”. So to me Southern California is conducive to acceptance, openness and warmth (for better or for worse). The atmosphere here is special and it will always be special no matter what the facts and figures say!

Truthfully this touches on a very important important aspect of Judaism. We believe that your actions on the outside will change how you feel on the inside. When we act kindly we begin to actually feel kind and then we act kindly naturally. If we feel stingy and we want to change how we act we have two different approaches. Our first option is to meditate on benevolence, think about giving and convince ourselves that giving is important. That might work… The other option is to simply begin to give! When we begin to give it actually takes an effect on our attitude. Slowly our giving becomes natural and we have become less stingy!

This works with any characteristic we have (for better or for worse). How we act changes how we feel therefore we need to be careful how we act. It is powerful stuff so… beware!

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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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