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In this issue...
Happy Minyan News & Upcoming Events
Reb Shlomo Carlebach - Tisha B'Av: Begging G-d For Intimacy
Reb Sholom Brodt on the Parsha
What's the Good Word in Devarim and Kung Fu Shoes and Green Grass Lawns
David Sacks - Shabbos Candles and Harvard - A Personal Story

The Happy Minyan Schedule for  This Shabbat

Friday, 7/24

Plag Ha Mincha:

(early Candle lighting):

6:33 pm

Candle Lighting:

7:43 pm


6:15 pm 


7:45 pm

followed by

Kabballat Shabbat and Maariv

Saturday, 7/25


9am - 12:00pm-ish

followed by  Kiddush


7:20 pm

followed by

Seudah Shlishit and Maariv

Havdallah from:

8:42 pm

Shabbat Shalom

Weekday Shiur on
Likutei Moharan -
presented by
Reb Yedidyah Blanton

Our own Reb Yedidyah Blanton teaches lessons from Likutei Moharan,
the teachings of 
Rebbe Nachman
of Breslov

Every Sunday night
8:00pm - 9:30pm

at Reb Shalom Yakov /
Jeff Mann's home:
1037 South Sherbourne Dr.
LA 90035
(between Olympic & Whitworth)

(There's no charge for this class!)

Days Are Coming...


July 26th:

Yahrtzeit of the saintly Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, aka
the Arizal

Wednesday night,

July 29th through
July 30th:

9th of Av - Tisha B'Av,
Major Fast Day
(from 7:57pm Wednesday - 8:24pm Thursday)
Anniversary of the Sin of the Spies 
Anniversary of the destruction of the First Holy Temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians and the Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans; and many other calamities throughout Jewish History, (may we be spared).

August 5

15th of Av - Tu B'Av,

Joyous Day -
Because of the joyous events which occurred on this day in Jewish History, our Sages regarded the 15th of Av to be one of the two most auspicious days on the Jewish calendar (the other being Yom Kippur--Talmud, Taanit 26b). Nevertheless, no special Av 15 observances or celebrations are ordained by Halachah (Torah law) or custom, other than the omission of the Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar portions from the daily prayers, as is the case with all festive dates.
Also, 40 Days before Rosh HaShana...

Good Shabbos

Awesome Links
Awesome Phone Shiur

Listen to the deepest Torahs and stories from the teachings of
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and Izshbitz,  from the book "Lev HaShamayim" - given over by
Rabbi Nossen and Rebbetzin Channah Schafer in Boston

Live: Sunday Night
9 pm - 10:00 pm EST

Call (641) 715-3300
Conf code: 818022#.

Recorded: Listen anytime! Each class is recorded and available until the next shiur, which will replace it.
Playback Number: (641) 715-3412
Access Code: 818022#

Always in Our Prayers

Please daven for the  immediate safe return of

Gilad (ben Aviva) Shalit;

Zachary (ben Miriam) Baumel;

Tzvi (ben Penina) Feldman;

Yehuda (ben Sarah) Katz;

Ron (ben Batya) Arad


Guy (ben Rina) Hever

as well as for the safety and success
of all of
Israel's soldiers,

and the immediate release of

Yehonatan (ben Malka) Pollard.

Kol Chevra

"Kol Chevra" is an
organization that is dedicated to perpetuating the legacy of Shlomo Carlebach that annually publishes a compendium for Reb Shlomo's Yahrtzeit (16 Cheshvan) with memoirs and recollections on how Reb Shlomo influenced and inspired the lives of the "Chevra"; memorial pages of those whose lives were motivated, awakened and exalted by Reb Shlomo; announcements of life cycle events; insights, writings and recordings of original work of the "Chevra" who are carrying on the legacy of Reb Shlomo by developing new commentary and relevancy to his life and works.

So here's the latest from Kol Chevra:

Announcing the beginning of the new 15th Issue of Kol Chevra:

Moments, Tikun, and Vision

Dedicate your articles, we want to give our chevra honor!!

Please send memories and stories of Reb Shlomo, your Torahs, Reb Shlomo Torahs, poetry, Reb Shlomo photos...

Donations welcome for mazal tov announcements (with photos, especially babies!!!), condolences, ads, artwork.

Keep articles short, 2-3 pages, and please send them right away!!

Add a little blurb about yourself, so we all get connected!!

Don't hold back, give nachos to the Rebbe!!

Thank you,

This fabulous compendium is read by hundreds of Reb Shlomo "Chevra" all over the world - hope you pick one up in the fall, and even better, hope you are able to contribute to it as well.

Happy Minyan Newsletter - Kol Sasson
Parshas Devarim, Shabbas Chazon
July 2009
We are in the midst of the first nine days of Av, traditionally a time of mourning the destruction of the Holy Temple and reflection on where we are as a People.
Here is a great thought sent from our friend Hesh:

(This is from the Munkatcher Rebbe, courtesy of performance poet Matthue Roth. )
The Talmud says, "When the month of Av enters, one should decrease in joy." The Hasidic rebbe Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira (1861-1937) said that, though the Talmud says to "decrease in joy," it should be read, " joy." In other words, though it is proper to mourn, even in that mourning, we should do so joyously, knowing that better times are ahead.
I was once taught the the Talmud says that in Av, we should decrease in joy, and in Adar (the time of the miracle of Purim) we should increase in joy. This means that no matter where in the year you find yourself, no matter what the circusmtances, you are always meant to be b'simcha, in joy - sometimes an increased amount sometimes decreased, but always with some degree of joy.
May we all be blessed with only ever-increasing joy, as these days of mourning are transformed to celebration with the arrival of moshiach, may it be now!

Wishing One and All a Shabbat Shalom!
Rachel Espana

PS - In addition to my words on the parsha (What's the Good Word in Devarim), I am including a piece I wrote several years ago that unfortunately still applies this eve of Tisha B'Av.

PPS - Emunah Witt is asking that all submissions to the Kol Chevrah compilation (see below in the left) be sent in by next week! If you need a bit more time, email her!
  Happy Minyan News & Upcoming Events

* Summer Schedule for Friday night!
We have two minyanim for Mincha / Kabbalat Shabbat at our regular davening location:

An early minyan will start at around 6:15pm and, a later minyan (after candle-lighting) will start at around 7:30pm.  Early minyan'ers should please be sure to be on time so that the second minyan is not delayed.

* The Happy Minyan's First Annual Tribute Dinner Honoring Stuart and Enny Wax - Thursday August 27th: Save The Date!
(Separate Email Announcement to Follow... Stay Tuned For More Info...)

* Tisha B'Av services
If moshiach isn't here yet and we aren't all in Yerushalayim, the Happy Minyan will have services for Tisha B'Av this Wednesday night at 8pm.

* Sisterhood Gathering for Rosh Chodesh Elul
Rosh Chodesh Elul is Thursday and Friday, August 21st and 22nd. There will be a special gathering in honor of Rosh Chodesh Elul at Mrs. Debby Gabbai's house.
She will be hosting a "Seudat Nishmat" - a very powerful ceremony where we recite blessings and pray for each other's needs and gie thanks to HaShem for all the good He bestows upon us.
Exact details of this event (date & time) to come - stay tuned!

* Mazel Tov: Yehoshua and Nechama (Amy ) Werth on the birth of Yakov Tzemach; andSarah and Natan Dakar on the birth of David Yosef! If you would like to assist the Dakars with meals for the next few weeks, please contact Batsheva Frankel at daysbetwn@aol. com

* Happy Birthday: Tova Rohatiner and Barb Heller

* Refuah Shlaimah:
Shaindel Feiga bat Baila Eeta (Sharon Asher)
Good Shabbos

Tisha b'Av: Begging G-d for intimacy

By Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, August 3, 1992 - ד' מנחם אב תשנ"ב

It is possible to do everything G-d wants you to do and not to be intimate with G-d. You know, beautiful friends, Mount Sinai is where G-d told us what to do. But Jerusalem, the Holy Temple, is where we are intimate with G-d. The Holy Temple is the headquarters for being close to G-d and to each other. But when the house is destroyed, there is no place to be intimate anymore. And gevalt! Are we longing and crying to be intimate with G-d, with every Jew, with every word of the Torah, and, one day, with the whole world... On Tisha b'Av the Messiah comes. On Tisha b'Av, until the Six Million of the Holocaust, you only heard the sound of the destruction of the Temple; you could not hear the footsteps of the Messiah. Today, the voice of destruction gets further and further away, the voice of the coming of the Messiah gets closer and closer. Let it be this year that the whole world will be fixed and G-d's holy intimacy comes back into the world and into our lives. You know, beautiful friends, I'm so proud of our moshav and our shul because they are filled with prayers, with so much dancing and joy, but also with so many tears begging G-d for intimacy with every word of the Torah with every Jew, with every human being, with all of nature. I have a feeling it will be this year.
Reprinted from Cong Kehillat Jacob News 5752
Good Shabbos

Shabbos Chazon - Descent for the Sake of Ascent
Rav Sholom Brodt, Rosh Yeshiva of Simchas Shlomo

Descent For The Sake Of Ascent

In a 'sicha' (Torah and Chassdus talk) given by the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l on Shabbos Chazon 5750 (1990) the Rebbe opens with a well known Chassidic explanation: The name of this Shabbos, 'Shabbos Chazon', (it is so named) because on this Shabbos the Future Temple 'is shown' to everyone. (Chazon is a vision in Hebrew.)

This explanation is the opposite of the simple and straightforward meaning of Shabbos Chazon ."Chazon Yeshayahu" is the third and last in a series known as 'tlata d'puranuta' - three (Haftorah readings) of retribution. Chazon Yeshayahu, is always read on the Shabbos before Tisha b'Av* - the fast of the 9th of Menachem Av - and is filled with strong words of rebuke and warnings of impending destruction.

On the seven Shabbatot following Tisha b'Av, we read a series of seven Haftorah portions known as 'shivah d'nechamsa' - the seven (readings) of comfort - prophecies containing Hashem's words of comfort to the Jewish People.

Thus, the Chassidic teaching that it is particularly on Shabbos Chazon that everyone of us is shown the Beit Hamikdash of the future, is astounding! Would it not have been more appropriate, asks the Rebbe, that the vision of the future Beit Hamikdash should be shown after Tisha b'Av, when the Children of Israel are being comforted, rather than when they are being foretold of the coming destruction of the [first] Beit Hamikdash?

The explanation, says the Rebbe, is based on the principle that the every 'descent is for the sake of ascent'.

Hashem is 'the Essential Good' and it is the nature of Good, to do good to others. Therefore there really is no room for any true possibility of a 'descent' in His world, for that would be the opposite of the good. Therefore it must be, explains the Rebbe, that the intent and ultimate purpose of the 'descent' is that it should bring about an ascent of a much higher caliber and order. Since the essence of everything is its intent and purpose, thus we understand that the substance of the 'descent' is the consequential 'ascent' that it will bring about as a result. And so, the 'descent' is actually the beginning and a stage of the 'ascent'.

We need to see the 'descent' as a purposeful transition phase towards an even higher 'ascent'. Suppose you want to throw a ball high into the air, so what do you do? You lower your hand and pull it back to get a lot of power behind the ball. Even though you have lowered your hand, you did it only for the sake of the greater ascent.
Have a wonderful Shabbos Chazon
May your vision of the third Beit Hamikdash and of the Ultimate Redemption be bright, clear and strong - illuminating your path toward the greater 'ascent'!

Good Shabbos

B'ahavah Ubivracha
May the Beit Hamikdash be rebuilt quickly in our days. Amen.

What's the Good Word in Devarim

Good Shabbos

This week we begin reading from the last book of the Torah, the book of Devarim. This is also the name of this week's parsha. Generally speaking, the names of both the parshiot (weekly Torah portions) as well as the five books of the Torah are named based on the first significant word mentioned in the first line or two of that section. In this week's case, the word is "Devarim", which actually means "words".  "These are the words which Moshe spoke unto all of Israel..."

Our Sages point out that the significance of those words that follow is that they are being said by Moshe himself, as opposed to the majority of the Torah which was taught to the masses by Aharon, Yehoshua, or the other elders. In a way, that places a higher importance on these words. And what are these precious words he spoke? Mainly, Moshe gives over words of instruction and guidance, some are more like rebuke and some are more like encouragement. They are also the parting words he gave over before his death.

The word "Devarim" also means "things". Words are so powerful that we call them things. Yes, in our tradition, words are like tangible items. A good word can ultimately lead to the creation of good things. A discouraging word can, G-d Forbid, lead to destruction and negative things. So it makes sense that Moshe leaves us with words, powerful and instructional words, because he wanted to leave some things behind... some real and important things.

Perhaps this is why so often when two people part, they part with good words, wishing each other well.

This coming week is the anniversary of many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish People, Tisha B'Av. We are taught that national tragedies, (may we be spared any further suffering), are meant to bring us closer as a People. This is traditionally a time when we all reflect on our state as a People and hopefully resolve to really love our neighbor as ourselves. Maybe we can take on something kind of simple, like parting with a good word. A blessing. A thank you. A good wish. Because you never know what good it could lead to - perhaps it could lead to the healing and redemption for which we are all yearning.

May we all be blessed with good words and good things.

Good Shabbos!

Kung Fu Shoes And Green Grass Lawns

A couple of weeks ago, I had occasion to be in Chinatown.  I hadn't been in a while.  I was there with a friend, just enjoying the glimpse into another culture.  Admittedly, I also love a bargain and I was looking at all the trinkets for sale in the various shops.  One store had Kung Fu shoes for sale, $5.  If you're not familiar, they're made of canvas tops (black) and rubber soles.  A thought went through my mind: "These shoes are perfect for Tisha B'Av.  Kinda cool.  Cool shoes to mourn properly in - good.  Should I get them now, 2 months before Tisha B'Av, or should I come back?"  Oy.
(Note: Tisha B'Av is a Jewish day of mourning, presently anyway, commemorating the destruction of both the First and SecondHolyTemples in Jerusalem, as well as other great tragedies that have struck our nation.  One sign of mourning is to wear non-leather shoes, as that is assumed to be less comfortable.)
Though I am embarrassed to share this thought I had, (cool shoes to mourn in), I am willing to share it, and the next thought with you, hoping it will be meaningful and thought-provoking. 
My next thought was: "How can I plan to be in mourning?  Don't I believe our redemption is imminent?!"  I immediately resolved to refuse to buy any such shoes or prepare for Tisha B'av in any manner whatsoever.
But I still had some reckoning to do.  What's with wanting cool mourning shoes?  What's that about???  Yes, I like to do things right, and okay - I like to look nice - but on Tisha B'Av, it's really not what's on my mind. 
And then it occurs to me, I am used to this.  I'm used to the mourning of national loss and tragedy.  Master of the Universe! - I am numb to being in exile, to the terror attacks on our People in our Land, to the assimilation and intermarriage of our People around the world, to the baseless hatred that divides a singular People.  I'm used to the distance, and numb to the pain. 
Of course I need the right shoes!  This is a function that I've been to before, and know how exactly to dress for it.  And I'm ashamed to admit, it's an event that, at least until now, I have naturally anticipated without really thinking too much one way or the other.  Just like every year there's Passover and Rosh HaShana, there's Tisha B'Av.  I have a Yom Tov outfit, I have a mourning outfit.  Oy.
So just when I've resolved to be conscientious and NOT prepare for another day of mourning, it gets worse. 
It is mentioned in shul (synagogue) this past week that we will be having our annual Tisha B'Av services on someone's lawn.  It brings back memories of Tisha B'Av's-past, the times we all gathered together to mourn and comfort one another, sitting huddled together, reading Lamentations by candlelight. 
(Note: Another sign of mourning is sitting on the ground instead of on chairs, and using dim candle light.) 
Those services have been so powerful and meaningful.  Good friends coming together, sharing thoughts and feelings on life in exile - by candlelight, on a nice green lawn.  My first reaction to the announcement in shul is that I am glad to know we'll have the services again.  Sigh.
Peculiar, isn't it?  I'm glad to know that when it's time to mourn again, I'll have cool Kung Fu shoes, and you'll be sitting next to me, on a nice green grass lawn, in the dim candlelight. 
Uh, no.  Not this time.  Not this year.  This year, I want to do something different.  If there's another Tisha B'Av before our ultimate redemption (may it be NOW!) uh... I want to boycott. 
First of all, everyday is a day of crying, mourning, and devastation for the Jewish People.  I ought to come, with a candle in hand, and sit on the lawn in my Kung Fu shoes every night!  There are so many bombs and rockets, exploded buses and stabbings and soldiers' lives lost in Israel... too many to count.  And there are too many friends, too many kids I grew up with, and yes, too many personal family members who have left their Judaism, their priceless heritage.  Not to mention our brothers and sisters around the world, in places like Iran, who are in prison for their attempts to live Jewish lives.  And the poverty and illness and brokenness that so many of us suffer.  I could cry non-stop every day the whole year through for all that our People endure.
Second of all, it is a fundamental principle of faith that we eagerly await the Redemption and Messiah.  I need to believe that it can happen now. 
Or now. 
Or now. 
If so, don't I need to act like it?  And if we're all in agreement and shared faith, don't we ALL need to act like there is no mourning that's going to take place on Tisha B'Av? That's what I meant by scratching the Kung Fu shoes purchase.  And Sages far greater than I have had the custom to bury their Book of Lamentations (the proper way to dispose of holy books) every year promptly after Tisha B'Av, anticipating they'd never need them again.
But I have another idea.  How about acting like it's really coming?  Acting like the Redemption is coming now.  Not after Tisha B'Av, not tomorrow - today.  I mean, how about mending fences, putting aside grudges, apologizing, forgiving, paying back debts, returning items, reconnecting with those we've estranged, assisting those in need however we can - because we know we want to do all that BEFORE we go to Israel with Moshiach, right?
Okay, I'll start.  Please forgive me for all I have said and done against you.  I have been suffering from the insanity of exile, thinking my limited perspective was more important than the bigger picture and believing more in whatever my agenda was than sticking to G-d's Plan for me and the world.  Really, I'm sorry for the distance between us.  It's an illusion; we are actually one.  From now on, I will act like it.  Will you join me?
And I forgive you, too.  I know that when I let go of whatever you may owe me - be it an apology, a thank you, debt, etc. - then I am free to take hold of that which I truly want in my life, namely unity and love and redemption.
May we be blessed to manifest Ahavat Yisrael, the deep and endless love for every single Jew; and to experience the Final Redemption with the arrival of the righteous Messiah, speedily, in our days... Now!

David Sacks teaches every Shabbos morning at 8:30am at the Happy Minyan, and every Sunday morning at 10:30 am at Mogen David, 9717 W. Pico Blvd

You can also listen to David Sacks online anytime by down- loading his Torah on iTunes, or you can read some of his best articles - check out his fantastic site Spiritual Tools for an Outrageous World.

Shabbos Candles and Harvard - A Personal Story

Dear Friends,

So often it seems like we're wondering around in the darkness. Sometimes we're blessed with moments when a light turns on and then in retrospect we see that we were never alone, even though it felt that way at the time. Here is a personal story about how sometimes everything comes together in a wonderful way, even though it took years to see it.

Have a Great Week,

David Sacks
About Happy Minyan - Los Angeles

Please join us for davening every Shabbat!

Friday night: (Summer time) Early services begin at 6:15 pm. Regular Mincha begins at candle-lighting time, followed by Kabballat Shabbat and Maariv.

Saturday morning: David Sacks' class begins at 8:30am, followed by Shacharit at 9am, then Torah reading and Musaf. There is a Kiddush after davening at around 12pm.

Saturday afternoon: Mincha and Seudah Shlishit are usually around an hour and a half before Shabbat ends and followed by Maariv and Havdallah at the conclusion of Shabbat.

We also meet for davening on all major Jewish holidays.

The Happy Minyan is located at
the Karate Academy

9218 West Pico Blvd (at Glenville)
Los Angeles, California90035
Good Shabbos
Good Shabbos! Good Shabbos!
The Happy Minyan