I cannot say enough about the work of Chabad of the Conejo, especially Rabbi Yisroel and Rebbetzin Leah Levine of Oak Park. They are phenomenal leaders in our community who are selfless and offer so much to our congregation and surrounding people.
There is a class in Chassidus every Wednesday night in a private home. Chassidus is a teaching of the core essentials of the Baal Shem Tov and could equally be defined as Jewish mysticism.
The Chassidic movement taught Jews to serve the Lord with love and joy rather than fear and trembling, to sing and dance rather than cry and fast.
What concerns the Lord the most, the Baal Shem Tov would preach, is that you serve Him with your heart. Love Him, even if you don’t always understand His ways. Love His Torah, even if you can barely read the words. Most of all, love one another, even if that “other” doesn’t measure up to the expectations of the Lord and His Torah. And celebrate all of the above.
Recently, the rabbi and rebbetzin hosted a class called Torat Yitzchak, which was a Torah study class in memory of Rebbetzin Leah’s father.
They are always opening up their home to the community, especially for Lag B’omer, a Jewish holiday celebrated on the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, which occurs on the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar.
LBO is a festive day on the Jewish calendar, celebrating the anniversary of the passing of the great sage and mystic Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar.
It also commemorates another event. In the weeks between Passover and Shavuot, a plague raged amongst the disciples of the great sage Rabbi Akiva. On Lag BaOmer the dying ceased.
And of course, we have complete weekly Shabbat Services commencing at sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. The morning service, which starts about 10:15 a.m., is filled with singing and learning from the rabbi when he gives a drash or a sermon.
The services end with a sumptuous kiddush (lunch) which everyone if invited to partake.
I have never attended Shabbat services where there is so much warmth and joy and a true sense of community from the attendees.