The Jewish Observer,

Los Angeles


                           15-21 Tishrei, 5780                                                   Oct. 14-20, 2019 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES --  628th Web Ed.




LOS ANGELES – Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Janice Hahn recently proclaimed a local emergency in the County of Los Angeles in response to the Saddleridge Fire.

The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) wants consumers to be safe and prepared for the potential impacts of the emergency. DCBA warns consumers affected by the emergency to beware of being overcharged. DCBA also has resources for business owners, including hotel and short-term home-rental operators, on how to avoid violations of state and Los Angeles County price gouging laws.

Accordingly, DCBA is providing resources, information and assistance to consumers and businesses that have questions about existing price gouging laws.

What to know when a state, local or Federal government body declares an emergency:

 According to price gouging laws, businesses cannot increase the price of goods and services more than 10  percent for 30 days in most cases.

If you believe a business is improperly overcharging you, save your receipts and contact DCBA at (800) 593-8222.

Price gouging restrictions apply to any business in the region, even if they are not directly involved with the emergency. Common goods and services that often see price increases during emergencies include essentials (e.g. food, water, gasoline) and housing (e.g. hotels, motels, short-term rentals.)

Price-gouging protections extend for 180 days for any contractor-related services.

For the latest updates on emergency efforts across Los Angeles County, please visit For more information on how consumers and businesses can prepare for and respond to emergencies, visit

Since 1976, the County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) has served consumers, businesses, and communities through education, advocacy, and complaint resolution.

We work every day to educate consumers and small business owners about their rights and responsibilities, mediate disputes, investigate consumer fraud complaints, and enforce Los Angeles County’s minimum wage and rent stabilization ordinances.

For more information, visit


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                                      THE SUKKAH OF LEVIATHAN


Some sukkot are so tiny that a person can hardly squeeze in. Others are so huge that they could accommodate an army. The biggest of all is the sukkah of Leviathan, a huge s  ea creature whose hide will cover the tent in which the righteous will be seated for the ultimate messianic banquet. In the Pesikta, Rabbi Levi explains that whoever fulfils the mitzvah of sukkah in this world will dwell in the sukkah of Leviathan in time to come.

Not that Leviathan the monster is to be praised and admired despite its massive size. Isaiah says (27:1) that G[-]d will use His sword against "Leviathan the straight serpent and Leviathan the crooked serpent, and He will kill the dragon that is in the sea". The two Leviathans are respectively male and female, according to the Talmud (Bava Batra 74b).

Samson Raphael Hirsch points out that the name Leviathan (found in Psalm 104:25-26) comes from the same Hebrew root as "melaveh" and "halvayah" ("accompanying"). "Leviathan" therefore has the general connotation of society.

G[-]d approves and encourages the formation of groups for the study of Torah and the service of one’s fellow man. But not every group is formed for good and constructive purposes. Think of the Tower of Babel and you get the point. G[-]d feels impelled to attack an animal or human society which clubs together to wreak fear, fright and terror.

What has the Leviathan to do with Sukkot? At the time of the final resurrection there will be a banquet at which the flesh of the Leviathan will be served and from the monster’s hide G[-]d will construct a massive tent.  Maimonides gives the banquet of Leviathan a spiritual and intellectual connotation: it will be the climactic gathering of the learned tzaddikim.


The words "sukkah" and "shalom" go together. Many of our prayers ask G[-]d to spread over us "sukkat shalom", "the sukkah of peace".

The imagery arises out of the shape of the sukkah as a protective covering. If we can sit together under the same sukkah, we will have peace.  Peace comes when we no longer hide from each other behind a wall or shout at one another across a divide. Peace comes when we sit side by side and recognise our common humanity.

Lord Jakobovits offers another perspective: "The sukkah serves as a token of peace perhaps because it is a symbol of moderation and compromise.

"It must be a temporary abode ('dirat ar’ay') and yet be used like a permanent home ('k’eyn taduru'); its covering must be thick enough to provide more shade than sunshine inside and it should yet be loose enough to allow the stars to be seen through it; the covering material must be of plants ‘grown from the earth’ and yet be detached from the ground.

"The sukkah must be at least 10 handbreadths high and yet no more than 20 cubits (approximately 3 feet and 37 feet respectively); it must accommodate a person and yet need hold only his head and the greater part of his body; it must be specially built for the festival (at least in part) and may yet be left standing from year to year.

"Moderation and compromise are the ingredients of peace" ("Journal of a Rabbi", 1966, page 412).

--Dr. Raymond Apple, Jerusalem, Israel