Orthodox Union luminaries shed light on the complexities of orthodox living and spirituality in the modern world

Rabbis Moshe Weinberger and Alan Kalinsky at OU West
The theme of the Orthodox Union West Coast Torah Convention in L.A. this year is "Bringing Light to a Darkened World."  Rabbi Moshe Weinberger delivered the keynote address, “Illuminating the Darkness” on Thursday, 11 December at Young Israel of North Beverly Hills, organized by Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, photographed together here. 

The theme of last year's conference was
“Traditional Judaism in the New Millennium.” The concluding panel on Sunday was called "Talking Tachlis –
Rabbi Moshe Weinberger delivers keynote address
Dealing with the Contemporary Challenges Facing Today’s Orthodox Families
,” featuring Dr. Yocheved Dubow, Dr. David Pelcovitz, and Rabbi Reuven Bulka, moderated by Rabbi Steven Weil.  


JooTube transports you there- in audio and video. Would you please continue our work through your mitzvah of a donation (link in right margin) according to your ability?

Presentation: "Challenges Orthodox Families Face" OU West Conv; Rabbis Adir Posey, Steven Weil, Dr. David Pelcovitz, Dr. Yocheved DeBow:
   

Discussing sex & intimacy with your religious family- Dr. Yocheved DeBow  

"Why be Jewish?" Rabbi Reuven Bulka of Ottawa, Canada

Guiding Jewish families on intimacy & sexuality- interview with teacher and author, Dr. Yocheved DeBow
 
Catch Dr. DeBow's book, "Talking about Intimacy and Sexuality - A Guide for Orthodox Jewish Parents" via the OU website.

Two American victims of Palestinian terror; One tells how his life was saved; The other's story told in eulogy by his L.A. teachers

Har Nof victims (counter-clock from top-right: Kalman Levine,
Moshe Twersky, Arieh Koplinksy, Avraham Goldberg,
(Photo courtesy: Yeshiva World News)
When news-media reported that 4 Anglos (3 Americans and 1 Briton) were massacred in the November 18th Har Nof Synagogue, few imagined that L.A. rabbis were instrumental in educating one of the victims from secularism to the rabbinate.

The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles' Jared Sichel published this on the L.A. connection:

"Rabbi Kalman Levine, born Cary Levine in Kansas City, Mo. on June 30, 1959, was murdered Tuesday morning, November 18, in a terror attack at Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.  A man who in many ways came of age while living in Los Angeles as a young adult, Levine was killed by two Palestinians who also murdered three other worshippers and injured at least another 12 in the synagogue.

Rabbi Shmuel Goldstein was struck three times by one of the terrorists with a meat cleaver- on his head, ear, and back. From the hospital, he told media of his encounter with the terrorists. 


Rabbi Kalman Levine (H"yd)
(Video courtesy: Arutz-7)
Although Cary Levine grew up in a Conservative Jewish family in Kansas City, when he visited his boyhood friend, Shimon Kraft in Los Angeles in 1977, the two decided to travel to Israel together to learn Torah. They attended two years of yeshiva before they returned to Los Angeles to attend a post-high school study program at Yeshiva University Los Angeles (YULA).
Levine became very close with Rabbi Zvi Block, who established the first Los Angeles branch of Aish HaTorah—an international Orthodox educational group—in North Hollywood. Levine’s relationship with Block helped solidify the transformation that began in Israel, and Levine eventually decided to drop out of USC and pursue Torah study full-time.
Rabbi Zvi Block finds meaning in Kalman Levine's martyring
A discernibly heartbroken Rabbi Block spoke warmly of his former student. “I became a father to all these children, to all these talmidim (students)—they are like my children,” Block said. “This is a huge loss for me. You’re talking about someone who was 18 or 19 when we first met.” 


Mourners prayed and recited tehillim for Kalman Levine's soul
Rabbi Shimon Kraft gathered community for teachers' eulogies
Levine was one of Block’s first five students at Aish HaTorah and the Los Angeles rabbi remembers Levine as one of the brightest young minds he ever encountered. 
Kalman Levine, is survived by his wife Chaya, 2 married children, one single-parent daughter living in Florida, 6 never-married children, and five grandchildren.

Rabbi Shimon Kraft organized a eulogy prayer service for those connected to Kalman Levine to mourn together with the L.A. Jewish community.

Speakers featured in JooTube's video playlist from the hespid are:
1) Rabbi Nachum Sauer, Rebbe, Yeshiva University of Los Angeles, Boys High School;

2) Rabbi Shalom Tendler, Rosh ha Yeshiva of Mesivta Birkas Yitzchok

3) Rabbi Block of Toras Hashem in Valley Village 


(Advance via playlist buttons at foot of video-player).
Rabbi Marvin Hier listens at the head of YULA Beis Medrash

4) Rabbi Sauer requests funds for Chayah Levine's childrens' weddings; leads a memorial prayer;


5) Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean of Y.U.L.A. High School

6) Rabbi Abe Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

7) Rabbi Moshe Parry, classmate of Kalman Levine at YULA


Following the attack, in their grief, the widows of the Har Nof kadoshim-meonah issued this joint, public letter on November 20th:
We turn to acheinu B'nai Yisrael wherever they may be. Let us all come together to increase the rachamei shomayim shown to us! Let us all accept upon ourselves that we will increase love and brotherhood – between each person and his fellow, between community and community, between major group and major group.
Our request is that every individual should see to it to accept upon himself on Erev Shabbos Parshas Toldos, to sanctify this coming Shabbos as a day of ahavas chinam. It should be a day that we refrain from all kinds of divisive conversation, lashon hora, and rechilus. 
This will be a great uplift to the souls of the heads of our families who were slaughtered for the holiness of His Holy Name. 
May Hashem look from above, see our affliction, wipe away our tears, and say, “Enough!” to our sorrow. May we merit to see the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, speedily in our days – Amen, Amen. 
Signed with a broken and crushed heart: Chayah Levine and family Breina Goldberg and family Yaakovah Kupinsky and family Bashi Twersky and family 
* - Translated by Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein in Cross Currents
For details of the Palestinian massacre against this morning-prayer minyan, read JooTube's initial coverage, Israeli Muslims massacre prayerful Jews with pistol & meat-cleaver, killing 4 American or British-Israeli Jews, 1 Druze policeman, wounding 7 others.


"The most pivotal event in Jewish history since the destruction of the Second Temple" according to Prof. Judea Pearl

On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution, which adopted the plan for the partition of Palestine, recommended by the majority of the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). 33 states voted in favor of the resolution and 13 against. 10 states abstained.

The UN Committee reached the conclusion that the Mandate for Palestine should be terminated, and most of its members recommended the establishment in the territory of Mandatory Palestine of an Arab state and a Jewish state, while internationalizing Jerusalem.

The partition map proposed by UNSCOP allotted the Jewish state only a small part of Western Palestine. Despite this fact, the Zionist Organization and the institutions of the Jewish community in Eretz Yisrael agreed to accept the plan, since it recognized the right of the Jewish people to a state and not only a “national home” as stated in the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1922 Mandate for Palestine. The adoption of the partition resolution by the General Assembly was received by the Jewish community with great joy and thousands went out to the streets to celebrate, even though it was clear that the Arab states and the Palestinian Arabs would embark on a relentless war against the realization of the plan to establish a Jewish state. (Source: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs).

Prof. Judea Pearl, father of the late, Wall St. Journalist Daniel Pearl, has encouraged greater, public recognizing of the event, reflected in this chronology of Op/Ed's he has written for the Jewish Journal of L.A.:

Prof. Judea Pearl's articles inspired dramatic re-enactment

"The forgotten miracle: Nov. 29, 1947" Jewish Journal of L.A., December 18, 2008
Last month saw the anniversary of one of the most significant events in Jewish history, perhaps the most significant since the Exodus from Egypt -- Nov. 29, 1947 -- the day the U.N. General Assembly voted 33-13 to partition Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state. Believe it or not, but this momentous event, which changed so dramatically the physical, spiritual and political life of every Jew in our generation, as well as the course of history in general, passed virtually unnoticed in our community, including in the pages of this paper. 
 "The Miracles of November" by Judea Pearl; November 25, 2009
The U.N. vote of Nov. 29, 1947.  In my opinion piece for this newspaper last year (Dec. 18, 2008), entitled “The Forgotten Miracle,” I suggested that the Jewish community in Los Angeles celebrate Nov. 29 as an annual Jewish Thanksgiving Day. I am glad to say that the idea struck a chord with several organizations. Starting November 2010, and barring unforeseen obstacles, this event will be woven into the tapestry of Los Angeles’ annual celebrations.

Judea and Mrs. Ruth Pearl at Amer Jewish Univ performance
On Nov 29, 2012, professional actors, musicians, and singers staged a theatrical re-enactment of the radio broadcast of the U.N. resolution vote- and its impression on Palestinian Jews. The event was staged at the American Jewish University of Los Angeles.  Following the performance, JooTube spoke with people involved in hosting and staging the event, as well as prominent attendees for their opinions regarding the occasion. 

Prof. Judea Pearl considers this Resolution 181, "the most pivotal event in Jewish history since the destruction of the Second (King Solomon's) Temple."


Father Alexei Smith, Roman-Catholic Archdiocese of L.A.
The guest of Mrs. Ruth Pearl, Father Alexei Smith, of the Southern California Ecumenical Council believes that as Judaism is at the root of Christianity, the Catholic Church supports Israel as the Jewish homeland. 

Actor Mike Burstyn performed in the pageant and, accompanied by Poogy-drummer, Meir Fenigstein, reinforces the validity of Zionism, with Jerusalem as the continued capital of the Jewish nation.



"Nov. 29 and Palestinian Statehood by Judea Pearl, December 5, 2012, Jewish Journal

Even as the sound of “Hatikvah” reverberated in the auditorium of the American
Actor, Mike Burstyn & Meir Fenigstein, Israel Film Fest
Jewish University, where Los Angeles commemorated the 65th anniversary of the historic United Nations vote of Nov. 29, 1947, another U.N. vote was casting its shadows on our consciousness — the vote for Palestinian statehood, on Nov. 29, 2012.

The similarities between these two votes have been noted by other commentaries — I wish to stress the differences. In 1947, the dancers in Tel Aviv invited their Arab neighbors to join in a celebration of two-statehood; in 2012, the dancers in Ramallah did not invite their Jewish neighbors to any activity. On the contrary, they openly called for the expulsion of Israelis from Haifa, Jaffa and Afula. 

Jews take to streets in outrage against Palestinian terror; wonder where is the demonstrable outrage from funded Jewish orgs?


Israeli protesters block traffic in Jerusalem: "Jewish blood is not cheap!"

Rabbis Avraham Goldberg, Moshe Twersky,
Arye Kopinsky, Kalman Levine-slain
Some 300 protesters from the Otzma Yehudit organization took to the streets of Jerusalem today in protest of this morning's terrorist massacre at a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood. The demonstration took place next to the capital's iconic String Bridge close to the central bus station. Activists called for "revenge," as well as calls for Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich to be fired for failing to deal with the ongoing and escalating Arab violence. 

"Aharonovich resign, Jewish blood is not cheap!" protesters chanted. The group then marched to nearby Yirmeyahu street and blocked traffic, and police responded by arresting six activists, including the head of the Lehava organization Bentzi Gopshtain. 

Also Tuesday evening, roughly 150 people protested in Haifa, northern Israel, calling on the government to act firmly in the face of this morning's terrorist attack.  (Israel National News)



New York Jews protest outside Palestinian mission

Palestine Mission to the UN encircled by Jewish protesters slamming what they called Palestinian incitement after deadly terror attack killed five people. A small yet dedicated group of Jews from New York took to the streets Tuesday after a deadly terror attack in a Jerusalem synagogue left five people dead, including three American-born and one British-born Israelis. A Druze police officer who was wounded while tackling one of the terrorists later succumbed to his wounds. 

Protesters slammed the Palestinian Authority for inciting violence against Jews, and decried the attack on worshipers within a religious site. Led by Rabbi Avi Weiss, demonstrators held up signs and placed them on the mission's door. US Secretary State John Kerry also called Tuesday, in the wake of the attack, for Palestinian leaders to end their incitement.  (YNet)

Jews Outside Palestinian Mission to UN Protest Jerusalem Attack 

Jews in the city gathered to condemn the synagogue attack in Jerusalem and remember the victims, including a rabbi who had personal ties in the city. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.

Dozens gathered in prayer but were filled with horror and outrage. Those are the words the demonstrators outside the Palestinian Mission to the United Nations used to describe Tuesday's terror attack in Jerusalem. The attackers walked into a Jerusalem synagogue with meat cleavers and a gun. Four people were killed, including three Americans. 

"As they opened up their mouth to say words of praise, words of prayer, words of peace, their tongues were cut off," said one person at the rally. 

"The blood of innocent human beings was shed this morning, and the world has not sufficiently expressed its outrage," said Rabbi Yaakov Kermaier of Fifth Avenue Synagogue.
Watch NY1's news story

Yehuda Glick Speaks About Shooting for the First Time


Yehuda Glick advocates for increased Israeli control over Temple Mount

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the Temple Mount activist who was the target of an assassination attempt on Oct. 29th, is improving steadily, and received the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, as a visitor on Monday. He spoke to the Chief Rabbi for the first time about his ordeal.

"The gunman, Mutaz Hijazi, “approached me, stood opposite me, and of course I naively trusted him,” he told his visitor, recounting the moments of the attack. “He said to me: ‘I’m terribly sorry, but you are an enemy of Al Aqsa,’ and then he shot – boom boom… and then I saw someone, Shai [Shai Malka, CEO of Likud MK Moshe Feiglin's Jewish Leadership faction], and he said to me ‘Yehuda, we need you here, come!’ so we ran…”

Israeli Muslims massacre prayerful Jews with pistol & meat-cleaver, killing 4 American or British-Israeli Jews, 1 Druze policeman, wounding 7 others

(Photo courtesy: COL Live)
As the four victims of this morning's massacre at the Kehillat B'nai Torah Yeshiva Synagogue in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood were laid to rest Tuesday afternoon, Israelis are still in shock at the depravity of the attack on unarmed worshipers as they prayed. 


The four victims - Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59, Rabbi Kalman Levine, 55, Aryeh Kopinsky, 43, and Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68, (hy"d) - leave behind grieving widows and 24 orphans between them. Kopinsky, Levine and Twersky held dual US-Israeli citizenship after making aliya from America. Goldberg, a British-Israeli national, immigrated to Israel from Britain. 

Terrorists Ghassan and Uday Jamal stormed the synagogue early Tuesday morning armed with knives, a meat cleaver and a pistol, inflicting horrific wounds on their victims, which also included eight injured - four of them seriously. The terrorists were finally killed in a shootout with police. 

More and more details are now emerging from eyewitness accounts and photographs from the scene of the slaughter. Israel's government press office has released shocking pictures from the immediate aftermath, showing murdered worshipers still draped in their prayer shawls and wearing tefillin (phylacteries). "I was going for a morning walk and passing by on the road above the synagogue," she said. "Someone told me not to go any closer and that there was something big going on, but I walked down to see. "There were people running from the synagogue, and a man sitting on the pavement covered in blood, it looked like he has been stabbed," she said. 

"The police were already there, and when one of the terrorists emerged from the synagogue they shot him on the steps. "Two people came out with their faces half missing, looking like they'd been attacked with knives." As she spoke, medics brought out four bodies one by one, each wrapped in white plastic, and loaded them gently into ambulances. 

Grisly images from inside the synagogue showed prayer books and traditional white prayer shawls drenched in blood, and a wide arc of blood splattered across walls and bookshelves.

Fighting back tears, Moshe Eliezer said he had narrowly avoided being at the scene after oversleeping. "This is a yeshiva community. Ninety percent don't serve in the army. We're not violent," he said. Even Israeli emergency workers, who are no strangers to the bloody scenes of terrorist attacks, were shocked by the sheer scale and brutality of the slaughter.  

Moti Bukchi who went inside to help the wounded described scenes of horror. "The scene inside was harrowing, with a lot of blood," he told AFP. "Inside the synagogue some people were wounded by gunshots, others had chopped off limbs caused by a meat cleaver," he said. "We have seen things here for the first time - a man goes in with a meat cleaver and starts to attack people and chop off their limbs? That is something new." 
Attackers stripped of explosives

Another emergency worker and local resident, Eli Pollak, described what he saw as "one of the cruelest scenes I have ever witnessed." Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Yehuda Meshi-Zahav said what he saw resembled images from the holocaust. "I don't remember seeing a disaster scene as shocking as this, (the victims) were wrapped in talit (prayer shawls) and tefilin (phylacteries)," he said, describing "puddles, rivers of blood throughout the entire synagogue, siddurim (prayer books) thrown all over the floor - a sight that we only recognize from the Holocaust, from the period of the Holocaust." 

"These are Jews who got up early in the morning to pray to the Creator of the World, and in the middle of their prayers - in the middle of a religious act, of an act of faith, not of conflict - were attacked...I do not know what ismore shocking than this." 

Meanwhile, Palestinians celebrated the massacre. Evil: Arabs in Gaza wield axes and guns in a macabre ceremony celebrating the attacks Reuters In Gaza and Bethlehem revelers handed out candies and celebrated with passersby, while in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukhaber, where the two terrorists behind the attack lived, family members gleefully celebrated their "martyrdom." 


 "We responded with shouts of joy when we received the news about their deaths," Ala'a Abu Jamal said of his cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal to Yedioth Aharonoth. "People here distributed candies to guests who visited us, and there was joy for the martyrs." The party didn't last long for the Abu Jamal's though; police raided the neighborhood and arrested 12 people, including several family members. 


Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered the demolition of the terrorists' homes, and Interior Minister Gilad Erdan announced he will be expelling the wife of one of the killers from Jerusalem.  (Article by Ari Soffer in Israel National News).

CNN must have repurposed their Gaza War scoreboard to mis-characterize the unprovoked violent massacre by Israeli Muslims on the Jewish innocents, as this screenshot caption reflects.
Thousands of mourners attended a joint funeral for Kupinsky, Levine and Goldberg before sundown - held outside the synagogue where the attack occurred.  
A joint funeral for Kupinsky, Levine and Goldberg before sundown held outside the synagogue where the attack occurred
(Photo by Reuters via The Daily Mail and JooTube contributor, Yehuda Ashin, from the scene in Jerusalem).

Anti-Semitism dean queries L.A. congressional candidates on positions, avoiding Islamist anti-Semitism

Rabbi Abe Cooper, moderates debate between Elan Carr and Ted Lieu in L.A.
L.A. 33rd Congressional District candidates, Calif State Sen. Ted Lieu and L.A. Deputy District Attorney Elan Carr, held their final debate of 2014, at Congregation Beth Jacob in Beverly Hills. Watch the full debate here, moderated by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Museum of Tolerance. The debate was organized through the auspices of www.CivicCares.Org.
 


State Sen. Ted Lieu, discussed his positions on the Middle East, Israel, and Palestine with DemoCast. He refers to the bill he co-sponsored to divest California state funds from the Iran and companies doing business with her.

 

Candidate, Deputy District Attorney Elan Carr expresses his views about upholding American support for Israel and opposing Islamist influence over US policies via Arab lobby groups such as C.A.I.R.


California State Senator Ted Lieu delivers award acceptance speech from the Council on American Islamic Relations of L.A. 16th Annual Banquet.

Israeli venture market on display by The Israel Conference in Los Angeles

The Israel Conference is a business conference across two days in Los Angeles that features the CEOs of companies that are innovating and are designing in Israel with products that reach the global market.  From multi-national firms through emerging growth and early stage, we bring together leading technology innovators and investors in High Tech / Media and Entertainment / TV / Film / Advertising / Mobile / Content / Gaming / Cloud / eCommerce / Financial Innovation / Security / Automotive / Clean Tech / Medical Tech / Consumer Products / Design coming out of Israel that are market-making and in demand.  

Conference moderator, Oded Vardi explains what he feels The Israel Conference provides its audience, its investors, and its companies.


The Israel Conference director, Sharona Justman, introduces Frank Williams, a gentile, UC Irvine student who leads business development trips to Israel.
Over 700 business executives will attend on Thursday October 30, 2014 and Friday October 31, 2014 in Los Angeles to meet leaders of significant businesses that do business in Israel and investors in Israeli companies.  The opportunities for new business are endless and exciting. Speakers represent the spirit of the inventiveness of the Israel market.  Attendees gain an insider’s understanding of the growth of both public and privately-held Israel-facing companies. www.TheIsraelConference.org    310-445-5388   Sixth Year!  More than a business conference, Israel Conference is an experience!

What effect will growing, domestic Islamists' terror attacks have on Jewish voters' attitudes, actions?

Canadian convert to Islam, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau,
 shot-up Canada's Parliament Oct. 22, 2014
”Canada attacks follow al-Qaida, Islamic State's instructions to a 'T',” AFP, October 23, 2014:
Two suspected extremists who killed Canadian soldiers in shooting and driving rampages followed instructions issued by Al-Qaida and the Islamic State group to the letter.
The country was left reeling Wednesday after a gunman shot dead a soldier and stormed parliament in Ottawa, just two days after another suspected Islamist militant ran over two military personnel with his car in Quebec, killing one. 
These deadly acts appear to follow what Al-Qaida has been preaching for years through articles or videos posted online, calling on recruits and volunteers to go it alone without specific orders or training. In late 2010, the English-language jihadist magazine Inspire, published from Yemen by American Muslim convert Adam Gadahn — known as “Azzam the American” — lauded individual jihad.
“Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders… So what are you waiting for?” he asked in a video posted some time later. (courtesy JihadWatch)
Ottawa  jihad wake-up: As elections approach, Jewish-American global-affairs expert, Gary Ratner, explores the west's reluctant Islamism resistance.



Jewish-American sisters, Laura and Leigh Stein feel inspired towards civic patriotism, and explain their motivation as Americans and as Jews in preserving liberty by promoting candidates strong on defeating Islamist anti-Semitism and anti-American-ism. 



Congressional candidate, Deputy D.A. Elan Carr addressed an Israeli Magen David Adom (Israeli Red Cross) emergency preparedness fair in Los Angeles at the time of summer 2014 Hamas kidnapping of Israeli teens, which spurned to Operation Protective Edge to stop Islamist Hamas' terrorism. Carr explains what Israel represents for freedom and human rights amidst the Islamist Revolution- and why he encourages legislation to support her.


Congressional candidate Adam King of Central Los Angeles speaks with JooTube about Republican willingness to confront Islamism, and inhibit Obama's hurting popular support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu- who does stand strong against Islamism.

Watch Sukkot / Hoshana Raba in action with Moshav at The Happy Minyan

“You will take for yourselves on the first day [of Sukkot] the fruit of a citron tree, date-palm branches, twigs of a plaited tree, and willows of the stream; and you will rejoice before Hashem your God for seven days” (Leviticus 23:40).  

What do the lulav and esrog you see Jews carrying on Sukkot mean? JooTube visited the 613 Mitzvah store in Pico-Robertson where Rabbi Shimon Kraft sells etrogs and lulavs for $40 a pair. Moshe Klein and Jonathan Eyshi, then 10th-grade Yeshiva students at Mesivta Birkas Yitzchok in Los Angeles explain the lulav and esrog used in prayer during the Jewish holiday of the Tabernacles (Booths), the holiday of Sukkot which runs for a week, concluding October 15th with Hoshana Rabah.
 
 (Advance through the video playlist via Next key or Menu button on lower right)

British-Jewish scholar, Rabbi Daniel Pinner writes: 
The Midrash explains the Four Species to represent four different kinds of Jews: “Just as the etrog has both pleasant taste and pleasant fragrance, so there are Jews who have both Torah-learning and good deeds… The date-palm has a pleasant taste but no fragrance, representing Jews who have Torah-learning but have no good deeds…The myrtle has a pleasant fragrance but no taste, representing Jews who have good deeds but no Torah-learning… And the willow which has neither fragrance nor taste represents Jews who have neither Torah-learning nor good deeds” (Vayikra Rabbah 30:12). All four species have to bepresent in order to fulfil the mitzvah; if any one of them is missing, then the Jew has not carried out the mitzvah at all (Rambam, Laws of Shofar, Sukkah and Lulav 7:5; Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 651:12); if, for whatever reason, one or more of the species is unavailable, then one shakes the others without saying the Brachah, in memory of the mitzvah which should have been  (Shulchan Aruch ibid.).  Read more of Be an Etrog on Arutz Sheva.
Rabbi Aaron Parry ("Complete Talmud for Dummies") explains the symbolism of the willow branches used in the Sukkot Hoshana Raba worship, originated in Israel's original, sovereign incarnation.



To get more of your questions about Judaism and Jewish ritual answered, purchase a copy of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Talmud" direct from Rabbi Parry here

Daniel Pinner concludes in Be An Etrog:
The myrtle with its pleasant fragrance but no taste, representing the Jew who has good deeds but no Torah-learning, survives for appreciably longer than the lulav with its pleasant taste but no fragrance, representing the Jew who has Torah-learning but no good deeds.  And finally we come to the etrog, with its pleasant taste and pleasant fragrance, representing the Jew who has both Torah-learning and good deeds.  The etrog remains fresh and fragrant and yellow (or green) for weeks.  Study and internalise the lesson of the Four Species.  Be an etrog-Jew! Contribute both pleasant taste and pleasant fragrance to the bundle of the Four Species, contribute both Torah-learning and good deeds to the community. The etrog-Jew is the Jew who survives, the Jew who endures.

Protesters shut-down Yom Kippur fowl-sacrifice - but is the leftists' outrage anti-Semitic?

JooTube takes you inside the Yom Kippur protest which got California Department of Food and Agriculture to shut down atonement ritual in Los Angeles last year for this year.

Jewish chicken-slaughtering operations ordered to shut down

Animal rights activists and some liberal Jews protest the practice of kaparot, in which sins are transferred to sacrificial chickens. (L.A. Times Sept 13, 2013)   By Martha Groves and Matt Stevens

The California Department of Food and Agriculture said Friday that it has ordered the shutdown of two Pico-Robertson operations that were participating in a traditional Orthodox Jewish ritual that involves the slaughtering of chickens.



"I told them what they're doing is against state law," said Rhett Dunn, a Food and Agriculture investigator. "They have to be properly registered."


 

Beit Aaron, a Sephardic Orthodox outreach organization, and Ohel Moshe, a synagogue, were performing the ritual -- known as kaparot (or kaparos)-- this week in the lead-up to Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.




Beit Aaron's operation was in a makeshift tent behind a building it rents on Pico Boulevard. Ohel Moshe's practitioners were operating out of a temporary plywood structure in the synagogue's parking lot, also on Pico. 

 

The ancient ritual, practiced by a relatively small group of very observant Orthodox Jews, aims to provide believers an opportunity to atone for their sins. A practitioner holds a chicken under the wings and circles it over the penitent's head or nearby, reciting an appropriate prayer. He then kills the chicken with a sharp blade and drains its blood. The chickens typically are then dressed and donated to charities such as the Midnight Mission.




Organizer, Rabbi Jonathan Klein of Faith Action for Animals says that more than 100 people attended and that some stayed to demonstrate late into the night.



Since the ceremony, activists including several staunch vegans and alarmed residents have taken to Pico Boulevard each evening, handing out fliers, setting up candlelight vigils and even bargaining with one kaparot manager to rescue chickens on the chopping block in exchange for protesting more peacefully.

 

 The demonstrations have sometimes gotten testy. Protesters and kaparot managers alike contend they've been peppered with anti-Semitic slurs. In one instance, police were called after a woman refused to exit a parking lot where she heard the screeching of fowl. By the time police arrived, she had walked down the block. No one was injured, and no arrests were made.

  

Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jewish people, begins Friday evening and ends Saturday evening.