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Rabbi David Shamsi – Parashat Vayikra 5777

The Alef Bet of Communication

There is a famous question regarding the first word of this week’s parasha: Why is the letter aleph in the word “Vayikra”, “And he (Hashem) called (to Moshe)”, written small? Furthermore, Rashi explains that the only one who could hear Hashem’s calling was Moshe and no one else. But the Torah already told us that Bnei Yisroel forfeited their right to direct communication with Hashem at Har Sinai; so what novelty is Rashi telling us?

Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Halevi Epstein, in his magnus opus, Meor VaShamesh, explains: If someone speaks, just about anyone whether they know him or not, will be able to understand what he is saying. But will they really understand him? Words are a very limited form of communication – mere shadows of what is truly going on in the mind of the speaker. In order to move beyond words and really understand another person, it takes a very deep relationship: A husband can understand more about his wife by one flicker of her eyebrow than a thousand words could convey. This answers both our questions…

In regard to our second question: Even if Bnei Yisroel were still able to directly hear the words of Hashem, they would still not be privy to the intimate relationship with Hashem that Moshe had and therefore, would still not be able to hear what Moshe could. In response to our first question: The small Alef reflects the limitations of speech by itself without deep knowledge of the speaker.

Although it is a tremendous merit to learn words of Torah, if we want to deepen our understanding and appreciation of them, it is imperative that we deepen our relationship with Hashem as well.

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Parashat Vayikra 5777

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This Week at Ohel Shalom

Mazal Tov! BiSiman Tov!

Mazal Tov to Moshe and Ayelet Sror on the Brit of their son, Yonatan Gavriel. Mazal Tov as well to big sister, Yaeli. May he grow to Torah, Mitzvot, Chuppah and Ma’asim Tovim.

Mazal Tov to Dr. Yigal and Donna Yahav on the engagement of their son Daniel to Hindy Weissman of Passaic. Dr. and Mrs. Yahav would like to invite the Kehilla to the Vort at their home, 8630 N. Keeler Skokie, this Sunday from 4-7PM. May they merit BE”H to build a Bayit Ne’eman BiYisrael!

Security Update

In order to increase security in the Beit HaKenesset, the codes on the entry doors were changed. Please refer to the hints posted on the doors for the new code.

Pesach is Approaching

Please note the Shabbat HaGadol Dinner, Friday, April 7th, deadline is THIS COMING MONDAY!! No exceptions! If you plan to attend, you must reserve and pay! In addition, please note the rabbi’s pre-pesach shiur this Sunday morning at 10 am.

Children’s Groups

Please note, there will be NO children’s groups the first days of Pesach. Groups will BE”H continue on Shabbat Chol Hamoed.

 

Pesach Information

 

Kollel Break

BE”H the Kollel will learn through THIS evening, Thursday, March 30th. The Kollel will go on break starting Sunday, April 2nd. Kollel will BE”H resume on Sunday, April 23rd. Remember that when the Kollel is on break, the 10pm Arvit does not meet. Please come in and learn though, even if the Kollel is not in session.

Rabbi Raccah’s Pre-Pesach Shiur

This Sunday, April 2nd at 10am, Rabbi Raccah will BE”H give his annual Pre-Pesach Shiur. This Shiur typically encompasses the Halachot of preparing your kitchen for Pesach. In addition, Rabbi Raccah will hopefully share the most updated info on rice and other products. You don’t want to miss it.

Dedicated Hours for Mechirat Chametz/Selling Your Chametz

Rabbi Raccah is once again available BE”H to aid you in the sale of your Chametz. As is years past, he has set aside some specific times when you will be able to come to sell your Chametz. This is in addition to selling your Chametz when you see him at the Beit HaKinesset after Tifilot.

The dedicated hours for now are:

Motza’ai Shabbat, April 1st, from 9:15 – 10 pm at his home, 7400 N. Albany. Please do not ring the bell then.

Sunday, April 2nd AFTER the Pre-Pesach Shiur for a 1/2 hour. We can not be precise for the beginning of this time.

Wednesday, April 5th between 8:00 and 8:30 pm, prior to the Wednesday night Shiur, in the Ateret Chaya Simcha Hall. Please note that the Shiur that night will BE”H be held upstairs in the Shaarei Ezra Main Sanctuary because the Ateret Chaya Simcha Hall will BE”H be set up for the Shabbat HaGadol Dinner.

Please do not come either early or late. Additional dedicated times may be added. Please look for more details.

The many additional Rabbinic responsibilities that Pesach requires place an increased burden on the rabbi’s schedule, so please respect Rabbi Raccah’s time and do not request time outside of these to sell you Chametz.

Sefardi Times for Hagalat Kelim

Once again Rabbi Raccah has coordinated a Hagala time for those who have items, such as plastics and/or stove grates for Hagala, which Ashkenazim do not typically perform Hagala upon. The time for Sephardim is between 5:45 – 6 pm on Monday, April 3 or Tuesday, April 4 at Telshe Yeshiva (3535 W. Foster – entrance through back parking lot). This is only for people with a small quantity of items. Please do NOT be late. Mincha is at 6 pm, and after Mincha is the time for those who made appointments. If you can’t make this window, then attend doing regular hours: 7:30 – 9pm. For those who have a large amount of vessels, please call 773-727-5241 to make an appointment.

Maot Chitim – The Geshem Fund

As we all know, Pesach is an unusually beautiful but expensive holiday. For some families struggling with ever mounting bills and little or no income, Pesach can be daunting. To help alleviate the stress of the financial constraints, the Geshem Fund provides some relief. Many families turn to the Geshem Fund year-round for help. Please help us help these families. To participate in relieving some stress and enhancing the holiday of your friends, please make out a check to the Geshem Fund today. The checks can be dropped off at the office or given to the rabbi or any other officer of the Kehilla.

 

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Rabbi David Shamsi – Parashat Vayakhel-Pikudei-Parashat Hachodesh-Mivarchim Nissan 5777

“If you don’t know that you don’t know, then… you don’t know.” – Rabbi Chaim Ilson

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Parashat Vayakhel-Pikudei-Parashat Hachodesh-Mivarchim Nissan 5777

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This Week at Ohel Shalom

Mazal Tov! BiSiman Tov!

UPDATED: Mazal Tov to our office manager Ayelet and Moshe Sror on the birth of a baby boy! Mazal Tov as well to big sister, Yaeli. May he grow to Torah, Chuppah and Ma’asim Tovim. Men are invited to attend the Brit Yitzchak this Motzaei Shabbat, March 25th at 9PM at the Sror’s home, 3100 W. Touhy Ave. Unit 1. The Brit will BE”H take place this Sunday, March 26th at 8:45AM following Shacharit at Ohel Shalom Torah Center.

If you would like to make them a meal, please click here.

Seudah Shilisheet Sponsorship

The Kehillah would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Shimon Faratci for sponsoring Seudah Shilisheet this week in memory of Meir ben Esther. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.

Rosh Chodesh Nissan

Rosh Chodesh Nissan will take place on Monday evening, March 27th through March 28th. Chodesh Tov!
Pesach is Approaching

With the announcement of Rosh Chodesh Nissan, Pesach is soon upon us! See below for Pre-Pesach Shabbat HaGadol Dinner Reservations.

Upcoming Events Not Finalized

As we send this email, there are many upcoming events in different stages of planning, including the annual Shiur by Rabbi Raccah for Kashering the kitchen for Pesach and times for selling your Chametz with Rabbi Raccah. Please be on the lookout next week for another email with updated info.

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Rabbi David Shamsi- Parashat Ki Tissa- Shabbat Parah 5777

The Greatest Armor and Weapon Against Harmful Speech

Our Parasha this week describes the Mae’el, a coat the Kohanim wore when performing the sacrificial services. Our sages tell us that the Mae’el was no ordinary garment. It also helped people refrain from harmful speech. But exactly how did the Mae’el do this?

The saintly Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, usually referred to as the Chofetz Chaim after his famous book, explains: The Torah says about the Mae’el, that its “mouth was tucked within it”. Literally, this means the head-hole of the garment was folded over within it, so that the brim of the head-hole would be thick and impossible to tear. Aside from this simple understanding, however, there is a deeper, symbolic, message to the fact that “its mouth was within it.” When a person is involved in an intense argument, receiving one harsh blow of criticism after another, there is only one correct way to respond: by keeping your “mouth”, your words, “tucked in”, to your self. Silence is the key.

Keeping quiet amid criticism is the only way for us to maintain our dignity, self-respect, peace of mind and even stop the criticism. After all, if your opponent sees that his verbal assaults don’t affect you, why would he waste his energy? R’ Nachman of Breslov says the ability to keep silent despite criticism is perhaps the greatest sign of divine wisdom. The Talmud says about such a person that he has enough merit to sustain the entire world. May we all merit to learn the lesson of the Mae’el.

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Parashat Ki Tissa- Shabbat Parah 5777

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This Week at Ohel Shalom Torah Center
Mazal Tov! BiSiman Tov!

Mazal Tov to our office manager Ayelet and Moshe Sror on the birth of a baby boy! Mazal Tov as well to big sister, Yaeli. May he grow to Torah, Chuppah and Ma’asim Tovim. Men are invited to attend the Brit Yitzchak this Motzaei Shabbat, March 18th at 9PM at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Julian Ungar, 3100 W. Northshore (Parkside Estates). The Brit will BE”H take place this Sunday, March 19th at 8:45AM following Shacharit at Ohel Shalom Torah Center.

Mazal Tov to our friends Dr. Yigal and Donna Yahav on the engagement of their son Daniel to Hindy Weissman of Passaic.
Mazal Tov also to Mr. and Mrs. Weissman. May they merit BE”H to build a Bayit Ne’eman BiYisrael!

Mazal Tov to Nathan and Miryam Fay on the birth of a baby girl! Mazal Tov as well to the grandmother, Belinda Elkaim and entire family. May she grow to Torah, Chuppah and Ma’asim Tovim.

Kiddush and Seudah Shilisheet Sponsorship

The Kehillah would like to thank Dr. and Mrs. Yigal Yahav for sponsoring kiddush this week in memory of his brother Shalom Kefir ben Chaim and Sarah. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.

The Kehillah would also like to thank Mrs. Alyese Faibisoff for sponsoring Seudah Shilisheet this week in memory of Mordechai ben Yishayahu. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.

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Parashat Tetzaveh-Shabbat Zachor 5777

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This Week at Ohel Shalom Torah Center

Mazal Tov! BiSiman Tov!

Mazal Tov to our friends Israel and Levana Freund on the engagement of their daughter Hadar to Aaron Miller of Glencoe. Mazal Tov also to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Miller. May they merit BE”H to build a Bayit Ne’eman BiYisrael!

Shabbat Mincha and Seudah Shilisheet

This Shabbat Mincha will be at 2.30 PM. PLEASE NOTE THE TIME CHANGE. Also there will BE”H be a second reading of Parashat Zachor at 2:15, before Mincha. In addition, there will NOT be a Seudah Shilisheet this Shabbat.
Seudah Shilisheet Sponsorship

The Kehillah would like to thank Mrs. Carmella Bega and Mrs. Miriam Namordi for sponsoring Seudah Shilisheet last week in memory of their father, Yechezkel ben Katun. May his Neshama merit an Aliyah.

Purim Cards to Help Support the Geshem Fund

With Purim around the corner, consider honoring a friend with a Mitzvah instead of some more Chametz. You can come pick up some elegant Purim cards, which will support the Geshem fund. Cards can be purchased at $18 for 10 cards or $2 each. Checks should be made out to the Geshem Fund with “Purim cards” written in the memo. If you are interested in these beautifully designed cards, please contact Ayelet in the office.
Geshem Fund Appeal

Each week’s newsletter contains a small section about the Geshem Fund – the Kehilla’s Chesed Fund. This fund is administered by the Rabbi alone, and provides aid to members of our Kehilla who are facing financial challenges. Over the last few weeks, the requests for aid have increased dramatically, both in the number of requests as well as the sums needed. Some of these requests have been for tenfold what has been given in the past. This unexpected spike has put a strain on the Geshem Fund. The Geshem Fund holds no fundraising events, so funds are raised by the Rabbi alone. Please help us help others! Donations can be given to the Rabbi, any of the Kehilla officers or to the office. If you make the check out to Ohel Shalom, be sure to note Geshem Fund in the Memo line so that the funds will be properly allocated. Thank you!
Daylight Savings Time

Get ready to Spring Forward! Daylight Savings Time begins THIS Sunday, March 12th at 1 AM (Purim Day). Also it’s time to check and change your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries! Be safe!

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Rabbi David Shamsi (Parashat Titzaveh-Shabbat Zachor 5777)

Machshava of the Week  

The Hebrew word for “demons” is “shedim”.   In Hebrew, each word has a numeric value that can provide insight into its meaning.  Interestingly enough, the numerical value (gematria) for “shedim” is 354. This is equivalent to the number of days in lunar year.  Perhaps, the lesson is that each day has its own “demon” that we need to face.  Even if we succeeded yesterday, we cannot rest on our laurels.  May we all merit using every day to bring us one step closer to our goals.

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Rabbi David Shamsi (Parashat Yitro 5777)

Machshava of the Week  

“Today you feel uplifted. Do not let yesterday and tomorrow bring you down.”

-Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

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Parashat Yitro 5777

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This Week at Ohel Shalom

Personalities in the Bible Shiur

This Motza’ai Shabbat, February 18th, Rabbi Raccah will BE”H be giving his FINAL Personalities in the Bible Shiur for this season, titled “Rachel and Leah: Sisters and Mothers of Kings” at 7:45 pm in the Sha’arei Ezra Main Sanctuary. Note time change! Please join us.

Mazal Tov! Seruya Bar Mitzvah

The Kehillah is invited to join in the Simcha of the Seruya family BE”H next Shabbat, Parashat Mishpatim, to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of Avraham Chabakuk Seruya. See below for details.

Geshem Fund Appeal
Each week’s newsletter contains a small section about the Geshem Fund – the Kehilla’s Chesed Fund. This fund is administered by the Rabbi alone, and provides aid to members of our Kehilla who are facing financial challenges. Over the last few weeks, the requests for aid have increased dramatically, both in the number of requests as well as the sums needed. Some of these requests have been for tenfold what has been given in the past. This unexpected spike has put a strain on the Geshem Fund. The Geshem Fund holds no fundraising events, so funds are raised by the Rabbi alone. Please help us help others! Donations can be given to the Rabbi, any of the Kehilla officers or to the office. If you make the check out to Ohel Shalom, be sure to note Geshem Fund in the Memo line so that the funds will be properly allocated. Thank you!
UPDATE: The Rabbi wishes to thank all of those who have answered this appeal. Yet, even with the influx of these additional funds, the Geshem Fund is still experiencing an unusually high request surge.

Cleaning Out the Coat Closet
The time for organization and tidiness is long overdue! All personal belongings in the coat room MUST BE REMOVED. Beginning in February, on the 18th of each month, anything remaining after 30 days will be considered Hefker (ownerless) and will be donated immediately. Let’s all do our part to keep the Beit Hakinesset neat and welcoming.
Purim
Purim is on its way!! Keep watching this spot for more info!

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