MoTAS Weekly for 12/2/15: Chappy Chanukah

I’m Fried

Whew. What a year it has been so far. We were overwhelmed at the August Shabbabaque, and found out where our fronds really were when we had to scramble to find them to build the Sukkah. We came together for a wonderful golf tournament, and have had great hangouts, breakfasts, and speakers. It has been incredibly busy, and I’m just about fried. I’m sure you are as well.

One of the metaphors of Chanukah is oil, and we traditionally eat fried foods. I’m sure we’re all familiar of why oil is a central theme of Chanukah. I’d like to address being fried, and how to endure and stay strong even when you’re getting dipped into that hot oil.

The answer is simple: Friends. Friends who recognize when you’re overloaded and just step in to help out, and who pull you out of the fried before you’re burnt to a crisp. Where do you find those friends? I’m sure you know my answer: in the Temple auxiliaries: Sisterhood and MoTAS. By being involved with MoTAS, you will make friends for life — friends who are there for you just as they are there for TAS. This friendship crosses political and spiritual divides. It also deepens your connection to TAS as a whole, for those friends bring you into larger and larger circles, until the whole congregation becomes a supporting insulating layer to keep your temperature from rising, resulting in a meltdown.

As we end the calendar year with all the December craziness, remember that MoTAS is here for you. We hope to see you, and get to know you, at a future MoTAS event.

Preventive Maintenance

This month, it was my turn to present a D’var Torah at the TAS Board Meeting. The parasha was Noach, and as I wrote it during the Golf Tournament, I was struck by the preventive maintenance Noah did before loading the ark. MoTAS  is intimately familiar with preventative maintenance as we are often called upon to do it, both at the temple and at our homes.

Preventive maintenance can involve hand and power tools, but it can also involve tools as simple as a smile and a greeting. Everytime you greet and welcome someone to a MoTAS meeting or at a TAS Shabbat or event, you are performing preventive maintenance. Everytime you say “thank you” to a volunteer, you are performing preventive maintenance. You are maintaining the relationship of that person with MoTAS and with TAS, and possibly bringing it to the point where they will become more involved and more active (or they will stay active). This is critical: for if you ignore the preventive maintenance, as with equipment, you pay for it later.

My goal, with MoTAS, is to create a culture of preventive maintenance. If you haven’t participated in a MoTAS activity, we would love to have you join us. If you have volunteered to help us, we really appreciate your time and effort. Oh, and if you still want to do that physical preventive maintenance (this time, for the world), come and join MoTAS on Mitzvah Day, November 1, 2015.

Overwhelmed by Shabbabaque – We Want To Make It Right

The following will appear in this week’s MoTAS weekly, as well as being worked into a congregational message:

Wow! What a Shabbabaque! On Friday, August 21st, MoTAS (in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary Committee) hosted our 50th anniversary Shabbabaque. Attendance was amazing – with an extremely large number of last minute walk-ups at the door. We did our best to accommodate everyone, but some food items unfortunately ran out early (we based our purchases on the RSVPs by the Wednesday deadline plus volunteers and an allowance for typical late registrations and walkups). In our long string of successful Shabbabaques, this has very rarely happened. MoTAS wants participants in its events to walk away with a good feeling – if you left dissatisfied, please let us know and we will do what we can to make things right (including a refund, if appropriate). To do so, contact the MoTAS President, Daniel Faigin, at or the Treasurer, Roger Lowe, at or 818-576-8980. Pictures will be on the TAS website shortly.

Our goal is to constantly improve our Shabbabaques — we can always make them better. To that end, we would love your comments on what worked well about the Shabbabaque (pluses), and where we can improve (deltas). We already know to order more food J . You can leave a comment on the event page at, or send an email with your pluses/deltas to You can also comment on this post.

MoTAS Special Update: Change in Speaker for Sunday 1/11/2015


On Thursday, January 8, 2015, MoTAS learned that Councilman Englander was cancelling his talk as he had been unexpectedly called to Texas. The good news is that MoTAS has been able to arrange for a similar civic-oriented speaker in his place:

Lilian De Loza-Gutierrez
Community Relations Manager, LA Metro

Ms. Loza-Gutierrez will be speaking about transportation issues in the San Fernando Valley, including the various transportation projects in the works, such as improvements to the Orange Line, potential projects between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside, improvements to the freeway system, and much more.

She is in the process of getting me a bio; you can find her LinkedIn page at

The location and all timing for the meeting remains the same:
TAS Social Hall
8:45am MoTAS Member Breakfast
9:00am MoTAS Membership Activity Review
10:00am Speaker

Everyone is encouraged to attend. Please spread the word about our new speaker.

MoTAS Weekly for 10/8/14: October is a Busy Month

MoTAS Weekly for 9/3/14: We Need You