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90265 is a Zip-Code in Heaven

Just the other day our children went hiking with their preschool in Solstice Canyon, where they had the opportunity to discover the qualities and differences among the variety of trees and plants learning which plants are edible and which are poisonous.

There is a teaching in Chassidism that states "a pleasure that is constant is no pleasure." The simple meaning of this seems obvious enough, if some delight is always available then the "pleasure" is diminished in comparison to a pleasure we experience rarely.

There are many Malibu mornings at the water where I find myself next to a tourist from another part of the world. Often, when this occurs, my son David’s award winning music video titled "90265 is a Zip Code in Heaven,” pops into my head.



Indeed, how often do visitors come into our home or the adjacent and marvel at the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean with the famed in the background? Living every day with this expansive view of the ocean makes it into a constant pleasure that, of course, somehow manages to lessen the "pleasure" component.

Once in a while, though, I am reminded how blessed we are when these very same visitors whip out their cameras and start capturing "Kodak Moments." While the Chabad house where I grew up was wonder filled, it certainly wasn't as picturesque or the type of place were people felt the need to snap a picture. Here in Malibu people from all over the world seem to agree where we are located, is the quintessential must have photo opportunity of Los Angeles.



In fact the more I am reminded of the extraordinary delights we are blessed with living here in Malibu, an abundant sense of gratitude floods my heart. Just the other day our children went hiking with their preschool in , where they had the opportunity to discover the qualities and differences among the variety of trees and plants learning which plants are edible and which are poisonous. They enjoyed walking along the stream, rock hoping and creating a whole new set of memories. All of that was followed by a picnic by the ocean and a swim in the school pool and then finally they called it a day. Imagine, so many wonders of nature and so much fun to be had all in one day and all within fifteen minutes from our home. What a paradise we live in!

If only there could be a formula, a way, to re-experience the pleasure of taking in all the beauty and wonder around us, every single day? And what if you could see the ocean every single day as if it was the first time you had ever seen it?

Just contemplating these questions has given me a whole new perspective and new level of gratitude. I remember as a child, when we had the rare opportunity to go to the beach or the chance to take a walk in nature, the calming effect it had on us. It allowed a wild bunch of kids to be “conflict free” for those few hours.

Similarly when we stop and allow ourselves a moment to experience the miracle and pleasure in the magnificent power of the Pacific Ocean and the divine feeling of serenity and peace in the natural setting that surrounds us, we give ourselves the gift of recognizing the gift from G-d we live in, each and every single day. Perhaps, then, 90265 really is the zip code of heaven!

Shabbat Shalom!

Jonathan Friedman August 10, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Great piece!
Bob Perkins DDS August 10, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Another "gift" from my friend, Rabbi Cunin. Words of Wisdom.......I celebrate you!
Keith Gubitz August 10, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Boruch HaShem!
Terry August 10, 2012 at 04:37 PM
could not agree more. Malibu is a very special place and although its a difficult duty, its up to us to keep it that way. its worth while time spent to take a walk and spend some time picking up trash to keep malibu beautiful. people will see u doing a good deed and they will do the same. its worth while to visit the beautiful sites in malibu like the serra retreat or the getty villa, or the adamson house or the malibu pier and appreciate this wonderful place. dont take it for granted
Macie Worthington-Malibu Resident August 10, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Tourists take pictures all over the world;Malibu is not exclusive. Nothing is more ludicrous when people speak collectively "we here in---" fill in the blank. We here in Malibu are subject to all the ills of society: crime, murder, theft etc. No "zipcode" keeps us off radar. Eprople engage in the activities mentioned in many many places. Actually I think Malibu is too transient for me and my family. No real roots here ang it gets boring with residents talking about Malibu all the time as if they own the city... many seem struggling to keep this "zipcode" kind of sad that one makes his or identity by what part of L.A. County they live. Malibu is another place to live. Yes it's pretty but many places in the world are- that's why tourist are everywhere in Los Angeles and the world- Malibu is no exception.
Jessica E. Davis August 10, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I'm especially enjoying western Malibu, more and more. My exploration of this beautiful city is only just beginning. (I've been here four months as of today!) I am truly inspired every day by not just the scenery, but the people who live here. I'm grateful to be writing the news in Malibu. It's been an interesting ride so far!
J. Flo August 11, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Malibu is such a gift to all living creatures - and you, Rabbi, are a gift to the residents who live here! You just keeping shining your light - thank you!
Bob Perkins DDS August 11, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Marcie- Interesting comments! I think Rabbi Cunin (though I can't speak for him) was trying to point out the general attitude of realizing how beautiful things really are...we tend to take things for granted after a short time. Many of us can start to feel entitled to this or that and the magnificence is "lost" on them/us. I would have to say, though, that many people see Malibu as an ideal place to live/visit, if only for the natural beauty and mild climate. I am not saying that it is ideal for everyone, but it sure has a lot of what people often idealize. There aren't a whole lot of "Malibu's" out there.... see you around town, Macie. Rabbi- You said it better than I could.....
Rabbi Levi Cunin August 11, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Thank you Jonathan, we miss you!
Rabbi Levi Cunin August 11, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Thank you Dr. Perkins. Indeed the real "heaven" in Malibu... the kind hearted people like yourself!
Rabbi Levi Cunin August 11, 2012 at 01:31 AM
And we are grateful for your presence and your writing!
Rabbi Levi Cunin August 14, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Indeed, there is much truth in your words. There are certainly many places all over the world with breathtaking views and wondrous natural settings.   And it is true that Malibu, like many other cities, has challenges. Especially when it comes to "community," the geographic reality of 27 x 3 mile stretch and the many small communities or properties and homes that comprise Malibu make it difficult to have the feeling of "neighborhood." Yet as a resident of Malibu for 17 plus years, I can tell you that there are many cases and situations where I have been blessed to witness a true sense of strong community.   While the words I have written could very well have been written about many other cities where I have lived or visited, I chose Malibu, because it is Malibu’s "magic" that I witness firsthand each and every day. Does Malibu have issues? Absolutely! But I choose to see the beauty as I witness a once in a lifetime sunrise over the Pacific Ocean, again and again.
Rabbi Levi Cunin August 14, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Thank you Janet for your kind words, it's your light that you are observing... Many blessings!

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