Showing posts from June, 2023

Farewell Benny!

Farewell Benny!  It’s been a wonderful year! After one full year as a medical resident in the Hemet hospital, Dr. Benny Ganjian will be continuing his journey to a rehab center (his specialty) in Syracuse, NY. People ask all the time, “are you an active synagogue?  Do you have services on Friday night?”  These days we’re only pushing for a minyan once a month, but a truly active community has services THREE TIMES A DAY EVERY DAY !   In vacation season, I get requests for daily minyans and sometimes we can hack it for a a few days in a row. I wish I could express the sense of community and friendship that our religion sets us up for. I see how lonely people are, minding their own business, spending lots of time on the tube, and not interacting with other people. Benny has given us a taste of what could be and what will be in Temecula some day with a thriving and truly active Jewish community.  He comes to the shul every morning and evening to pray and we’ve studied together too.  Even t


  Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev once challenged G-d, “Master of the Universe, You have placed all the earthly temptations before our eyes, while the spiritual pleasures and rewards for following Your will are relegated to the books we study. That is quite unfair! Why not reverse things and fill our senses with an appreciation and understanding of spirituality, and leave all material benefits and pleasures to the library shelves. See, then, how few people will sin!” What does “understanding” mean? There’s an English expression “to grasp an idea”.  Just like you can grasp or hold a ball, feeling it and controlling it from every side, your brain can understand , hold and feel an “idea” in the same way. As people, we can understand things we like to eat, do and figure out how to get more of them (this is instinctual and survival stuff). We can also understand nature (biology and physics), the engineering of machines, and different skills. We can also understand people (like I wrote la

What is the Purpose of Marriage?

Mazal tov Miriam and Jason! My sister, Miriam just got married to Jason Bernstein this past Monday! The wedding was beautiful and Natanya and I wish you a beautiful life together! This week's email is dedicated in honor of the bride and groom, and the topic will be “the purpose of marriage.” So what is the purpose of marriage? Some people might say it’s to suffer. Some people might say to enjoy life together. Some people might say it’s “to not be lonely”. Some people might say to have children. Or maybe to be partners in life, have financial stability or emotional support. There may be some truth in some of those answers but I don’t think any of them capture the essence of marriage. The purpose of marriage is for husband and wife to become one . Let’s have a look at the beginning of the Torah.  On the sixth day of creation, after speaking all the land animals into existence, G-d took some earth, formed it into a body, and then blew a soul into it. G-d called him Adam because he wa