Thursday, May 25, 2017

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated by Mr. Binyomin Philipson in memory of his late mother Mrs. Ellen (Elka bas Zisel) Philipson OBM

Dedicated in memory of Leah bas Rochel OBM

It is that time of year again. We will be beginning the Book of Numbers, as this week's Torah reading begins the book of Bamidbor ([Numbers] 1:1-4:20), and during this week’s Torah reading we will hear verse after verse of numbers: 46,500 for the tribe of Reuben, 59,300 for the tribe of Simeon, and so on.

Interestingly, this Torah portion of Bamidbor is always read shortly before the holiday of Shavuos, the holiday of our receiving the Torah.

What is the connection between numbers and counting and the special gift our nation received on this holiday?

Counting is an equalizer. Each unit which is counted adds up to one, no more and no less.

As a nation we are far from a homogenous group. This is true in all areas -- and our service of G‑d is no exception. Depending on our unique talents, some of us serve G‑d through assiduous Torah study, others through volunteering time in public service, others through financially supporting worthy causes, and yet others through reciting Psalms with devotion and sincerity. Leaders and followers. Old and young. Men and women. Scholars and laymen. Every segment of our nation, and indeed every individual person, serves G‑d in his or her unique way.

The counting of the Jews teaches us that the service of any one person isn't more or less important than the service of another. One's service may be more attractive, flashy and attention-grabbing than another's -- but at the core we are all involved in the exact same pursuit -- serving our Creator with all our available talents and resources.

Speaking of counting, from the moment the Jews left Egypt, they began counting - counting the days,  49 days - which led up to the day of Shavuos when they would be receiving the Torah, the ultimate equalizer, on Mt. Sinai.

The essence and purpose of all of creation is G‑d's desire for a physical abode, an earthly realm which would be transformed into a hospitable habitat and where His essence could be expressed. It is the Torah that a) reveals to us this divine plan; b) contains the mitzvot, the tools with which we bring this purpose to realization; and thus c) brings harmony and equality to all of creation -- for it shows us how every one of the myriads of components in creation is essentially identical, for they all have one purpose – to make a dwelling place for G-d Al-Mighty.

As Shavuos approaches, let us take this message to heart. Every person counts. Every day counts. Every component of creation counts. And we should be counting our blessings that we were given the Torah -- without which nothing would count. 

(Excerpts from Chabad.org - from Rabbi Naftali Silberberg)

For additional information, insights and stories about the holiday of Shavuot, please click here.

May you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos and inspiring holiday of Shavuos!

If you would like to dedicate the weekly Parsha Perspective in honor or memory of a person or occasion, please contact Rabbi Shusterman at yshusterman@chedermonsey.org

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Flamer LeChaim

Mazel Tov to the Flamer family, on the engagement of their son Mendy to Fanya Kogan from Staten Island. The L' Chaim will take place on Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 at Eshel, 272 Kingston Avenue.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Davening Times for the week of Parshas Bamidbar for Tzemach Tzedek

Shacharis - Sunday                                                                  8:00, 9:00, 10:00am

Shacharis - Monday through Thursday                                       6:48, 7:00, 8:00am

Shacharis - Friday (Rosh Chodesh)                                                     6:45, 8:00am

Mincha - Monday thru Thursday                                                          7:00, 8:00pm

Maariv - Monday thru Thursday                                                           8:50, 9:30pm

Friday, May 19, 2017

Parshas Behar-Bechukosai Schedule for Tzemach Tzedek

The following is the Tzemach Tzedek schedule for Shabbos Mevorchim Parshas Behar-Bechukosai:

Friday - ערב ש"ק


Licht Bentchen                                                                                        7:53pm

Minchah Erev Shabbos                                                                          8:05pm

Kabbolas Shabbos                                                                                 8:40pm

שבת קודש

Shabbos Mevorchim Tehillim                                                                  8:30am

Sof Zman Krias Shma                                                                            9:13am

Shacharis                                                                                             10:00am  

Kiddush/Farbrengen following Davening    

Minchah Gedolah                                                                                   1:30pm

Mesibas Shabbos (for boys up to 5th grade) @ 8 Grosser Ln.               5:00pm

Ladies' Pirkei Avos Shiur                                                                         5:30pm

Rov's Halacha Shiur                                                                               7:00pm

Minchah                                                                                                   7:55pm

Motzoei Shabbos/Maariv                                                                        9:01pm  

א גוטען שבת

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman
This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated by Mr. Binyomin Philipson in memory of his late mother Mrs. Ellen (Elka bas Zisel) Philipson OBM

Dedicated in memory of Leah bas Rochel OBM

This week’s double Torah reading – B’Har-B’Chukosai  (Vayikra [Leviticus] 25:1-27:34) talks of the prohibition against performing agricultural work during the Shemittah (seventh) year ,which is the Sabbatical) year.

The Torah passage reads: “And if you shall say, “What will we eat in the seventh year? Behold, we will not sow, nor gather in our produce!” I will command My blessing for you in the sixth year, and it will yield produce for three years. You will sow in the eighth year, while [still] eating from the old crops until the ninth year; until the arrival of its crop, you will eat from the old [crop].”

Very few people can financially survive taking an unpaid leave of absence from work for an entire year. We can only imagine what a country would look like of entire segments of its population decided to take a year of vacation; it would take years for the economy to lift itself out of the ensuing shambles. Just think: strikes by small groups which last for mere days cause billions of dollars of damage to nations’ economies.

Yet it actually happened.  Regularly. Citizens of an agrarian nation dropped their plows and sickles and “sabbaticaled” every seventh year, survived and flourished! We speak often of miracles such as the splitting of the Red Sea and the Jordan River, of the ten plagues and Elijah’s wonders, but we neglect to mention this awesome miracle which occurred in the Land of Israel every seventh year! For centuries, every sixth year the crop would be so abundant that it lasted for three years for those who were committed to abstain from work on the seventh. Perhaps it can be posited that greater than the miracle of the abundant crops is the trust the Jews demonstrated in G‑d.

If society today is any indicator, people have a strong tendency to relegate G‑d to the synagogue. Those who are more pious allow G‑d into their personal lives as well. But fewer indeed are those who welcome Him into their businesses and pocketbooks. “I’ll pray to G‑d, I’ll study Torah and do His mitzvot, but business is business . . ." The biblical law requiring ten percent of earnings to be given to charity and the prohibitions against lending with interest, cheating, deception, and working on Shabbat and holy days are swept under the rug in the interest of making ends meet.

Shemittah teaches us that we are not intrinsically weak; we do have the ability to trust in G‑d. And He, in turn, has the ability to provide for those who do so. G‑d pleads, “Is My hand too short to redeem, or do I have no strength to save? Behold, with My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make rivers into a desert.”  Yes, the same G‑d who split the Red Sea can even provide us and our families with a steady income.

This concept is as true today as it was in the Land of Israel millennia ago. Follow this link to read a beautiful story which illustrates this point.

(Excerpts from Chabad.org - by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg)
May you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos

If you would like to dedicate the weekly Parsha Perspective in honor or memory of a person or occasion, please contact Rabbi Shusterman at yshusterman@chedermonsey.org

Monday, May 15, 2017

Messing L'Chaim

Mazel Tov to the Messing and Rotenberg families, on the engagement of their children Daniel to Mushkie. The L' Chaim will take place on Tuesday May16, 2017 at Lubavitch Yeshiva beginning at 8:00 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you.  May we continue to share in many simchas.

The Messing Family

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Lag B'Omer Farbrengen

There will be a farbrengen in honor of ל"ג בעומר tonight, May 14th, at Tzemach Tzedek shul, after the 8:45pm Maariv.

Davening Times for the week of Parshas Behar-Bechukosai for Tzemach Tzedek

Shacharis - Sunday                                                                  8:00, 9:00, 10:00am

Shacharis - Monday through Friday                                            6:48, 7:00, 8:00am

Mincha - Monday thru Thursday                                                          7:00, 7:55pm

Maariv - Monday thru Thursday                                                           8:45, 9:30pm

Friday, May 12, 2017

NCFJE summer sleepaway camp scholarship program

If you want to send your child to a Chabad sleepaway camp but cannot, due to the lack of funds, please contact Rabbi Simcha Werner at 845 356 3850 or email NCFJERSW@gmail.com, regarding the NCFJE summer sleepaway camp scholarship program.

Rabbi Simcha Werner

Parshas Emor Schedule for Tzemach Tzedek

The following is the Tzemach Tzedek schedule for Shabbos Parshas Emor:

Friday - ערב ש"ק


Licht Bentchen                                                                                        7:46pm

Minchah Erev Shabbos                                                                          8:00pm

Kabbolas Shabbos                                                                                 8:35pm

שבת קודש

Rov's Chassidus Shiur                                                                          9:00am

Sof Zman Krias Shma                                                                            9:16am

Shacharis                                                                                             10:00am  

Kiddush/Farbrengen after Davening    

Minchah Gedolah                                                                                   1:29pm

Mesibas Shabbos (for boys up to 5th grade) @ 8 Grosser Ln.               5:00pm

Ladies' Pirkei Avos Shiur                                                                         5:30pm

Rov's Halacha Shiur                                                                               7:00pm

Minchah                                                                                                   7:45pm

Motzoei Shabbos/Maariv                                                                        8:53pm  

א גוטען שבת

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated by Mr. Binyomin Philipson in memory of his late mother Mrs. Ellen (Elka bas Zisel) Philipson OBM

Dedicated in memory of Leah bas Rochel OBM

The Parsha this week, Emor, (Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:1-24:23) begins "G‑d said to Moses, speak to the priests... and tell them."  Struck by the redundancy, speak and tell, our Sages explain that "tell them" was part of the instruction. "Tell the elders to warn the younger ones."

Curious as to why our Sages employed the unusual term "warn" them rather than the more usual term "teach" them, the Chassidic Masters explain that the Hebrew word for "warn them," lehazhir, also connotes illumination. In other words, don't just rebuke or admonish them; illuminate their souls by highlighting their strengths.

To explain how this can be done, we must first introduce the doctrine of The Great Test.

The question is asked why G‑d tests certain people more severely than others. There are those who are born with strong predilections for greed or theft. There are others who are extremely vulnerable to anger or jealousy, and yet others, to insecurity and fear. Then there are those who are not inclined by nature to any of the above. Living a moral lifestyle is relatively easy for this class. Why did they luck out, and why are the others so severely tested?

On the principle that G‑d does not test us in ways we cannot overcome, the Talmud posits, "He who is greater … is burdened with a stronger [evil] inclination."  Before He endows us with our genetic inclinations, G‑d endows us with the ability to overcome those very inclinations. The reason some are only mildly tempted is because their capacity for overcoming temptation is limited. Those who are sorely tempted are endowed with a greater capacity for overcoming temptation. The greater the capacity, the greater the temptation. The greater the temptation, the greater the ability to overcome. In this way, the playing field is even. No one is given a greater test than the other; we are each tested in accordance with our abilities.

Regardless of genetic disposition, our decisions to behave in particular ways are products of free choice. Regardless of how heavily we are inclined toward sin, we have the capacity to battle those inclinations and overcome them. To succumb is to choose to not live up to our full capacity.

We now return to the notion of rebuking by illumination. When we watch a fellow committing a sin, what are we seeing? Do we take note of the sin and unleash a scathing, but utterly ineffective, rebuke, or do we take note of the terrible temptation that led up to the sin?

Acknowledging our fellow's terrible temptation highlights his strengths. As explained earlier, if someone wasn't particularly strong in this area, he would not have been so sorely tested. Thus, our second option leads not to stinging rebuke, but to admiration and praise. Of course, we don't praise the sin, but our fellow's natural, G‑d-given, ability to overcome it.

Imagine responding to your neighbor's sin with a string of compliments about his incredible spiritual strengths. Tell him his soul is greater than yours, as indicated by the intensity of his temptations. Tell him how jealous you are of his soul, and how much you would give to be born with his natural abilities. Rather than drive a wedge between your neighbor and yourself, you would lay the groundwork for a wonderful relationship.

Such words of praise will also, incidentally, achieve the very objective that you seek but cannot easily achieve; they will inspire your neighbor to improve his ways. When we human beings receive praise, we naturally respond with a desire to live up to the praise. Offering praise highlights the other's natural abilities and brings out the best in him; it empowers him to overcome future temptation. Admonishment, by contrast, is not particularly inspiring or empowering; it highlights the other's failures and reminds him of his worst moments.

It is counterintuitive to respond with praise for a sinner. Those moved to mentor and guide others back to the path of morality are usually inclined to point out the negative behavioral trends that their fellow must reverse. This is the more direct way, but it is also the least effective way. When a room is dark, we simply turn on a light. When a person is filled with the darkness of sin, there is no use trying to fight the darkness. It is much more effective to simply turn on a light.

Shine the light on their strengths; their wish to live up to the praise will naturally follow.

(Excerpts from Chabad.org – by Rabbi Lazer Gurkow)

May you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos!!

If you would like to dedicate the weekly Parsha Perspective in honor or memory of a person or occasion, please contact Rabbi Shusterman at yshusterman@chedermonsey.org

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Yud Gimmel Iyar and Pesach Sheini Farbrengen

There will be a farbrengen in honor of י"ג אייר and פסח שני tonight, May 9th, at Tzemach Tzedek shul, after the 8:40pm Maariv.

Labovitch LeChaim

Mazel Tov to Reb Yitzchak and Penina Labovitch and Mrs. Susan Labovitch on the engagement of Becky to Yossi Miller of Pittsburgh. The L’Chaim will be at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Shea Silber, 4 Fosse Court, South Monsey, Wednesday, May 10th, 8:00 to 10:30 pm.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Davening Times for the week of Parshas Emor for Tzemach Tzedek

Shacharis - Sunday                                                                  8:00, 9:00, 10:00am

Shacharis - Monday through Friday                                            6:48, 7:00, 8:00am

Mincha - Monday thru Thursday                                                          7:00, 7:50pm

Maariv - Monday thru Thursday                                                           8:40, 9:30pm

Friday, May 5, 2017

Parshas Acharei-Kedoshim Schedule for Tzemach Tzedek

The following is the Tzemach Tzedek schedule for Shabbos Parshas Acharei-Kedoshim:

Friday - ערב ש"ק


Licht Bentchen                                                                                        7:39pm

Minchah Erev Shabbos                                                                          7:52pm

Kabbolas Shabbos                                                                                 8:30pm

No Kiddush between 6:53/7:00pm - 7:53/8:00pm

שבת קודש

Rov's Chassidus Shiur                                                                          9:00am

Sof Zman Krias Shma                                                                            9:20am

Shacharis                                                                                             10:00am      

Minchah Gedolah                                                                                   1:29pm

Mesibas Shabbos (for boys up to 5th grade) @ 8 Grosser Ln.               5:00pm

Ladies' Pirkei Avos Shiur                                                                         5:30pm

Rov's Halacha Shiur                                                                               6:55pm

Minchah                                                                                                   7:40pm

Motzoei Shabbos/Maariv                                                                        8:45pm  

א גוטען שבת

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated by Mr. Binyomin Philipson in memory of his late mother Mrs. Ellen (Elka bas Zisel) Philipson OBM

Dedicated in memory of Leah bas Rochel OBM

This week we read a double Torah portion: Acharei Mot - Kedoshim (Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:1-20:27) which deals with a variety of laws. Amongst them are laws dealing with improving inter-personal relationships.

The sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of blessed memory (1880–1950), once addressed a certain person in a letter using the title “a G‑d-fearing man”(ish yerei Elokim). The Rebbe’s secretary remarked that this person’s reputation did not justify such a distinguished title.

The Rebbe used the example of a pathology lab to explain his point. When a lab technician examines a blood sample, he or she looks under a microscope for any trace of the suspected cells or elements. The discovery of even one-thousandth of one percent of it is regarded as very significant, as it implies a potential for this “tiny trace” to grow and develop into a most tangible factor in the person’s life.

So too, said the Rebbe, I look at the person’s soul under a spiritual microscope. I never fail to find there a trace of the fear of G‑d. To me, this “tiny trace” is very significant. In fact, by conferring upon the person the title “G‑d-fearing person” now, we accentuate that quality in him or her, and encourage it to grow and develop and become a tangible reality in that person’s life.

A speaker once asked his audience: “What makes a successful person?” The responses were: “A person who is honest,” “enthusiastic,” “kind,” “has integrity,” “cares about others,” and so on. Most of the items mentioned as a recipe for success had to do more with attitude than with skill. Regarding a particular skill, a person might claim, “I just don’t have it in me”; but when it comes to positive attitudes, these are things that each one of us possesses - at the very least, in the form of a “tiny trace.” We need only to discover them and allow them to develop.

We believe that every single person has a trace of honesty, good will, gentleness, politeness, and so on. It is our job as parents, spouses, friends and fellow human beings to find that trace - even if we need to take out our inner microscopes - and encourage it.

As a motivational speaker once suggested that we should stand in front of a mirror each morning and say: “I am an honest person. I am a person who cares about others.” We should go on and list all the character traits which we would like to reveal in ourselves. We should encourage our children to do the same.

The next step is to act in the way that a person who possesses those traits would act. Just like we cannot learn to fly an airplane or play a violin just by reading up on it or listening to lectures about it, so too the development of character requires practice. Parents should take their children to visit people in a hospital or an old-age home. As well, they should encourage their child to use some of his or her pocket money towards helping others. Practicing acts of charity and kindness on an ongoing basis makes a kind person.

In a nutshell, the steps are: believe that we have the attitudes, and practice them until they become second nature.

(Excerpts from Chabad.org – By Rabbi Yaakov Lieder)

May you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos

If you would like to dedicate the weekly Parsha Perspective in honor or memory of a person or occasion, please contact Rabbi Shusterman at yshusterman@chedermonsey.org

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Davening Times for the week of Parshas Acharei-Kedoshim for Tzemach Tzedek

Shacharis - Sunday                                                                  8:00, 9:00, 10:00am

Shacharis - Monday through Friday                                            6:48, 7:00, 8:00am

Mincha - Monday thru Thursday                                                          7:00, 7:40pm

Maariv - Monday thru Thursday                                                           8:30, 9:30pm

Friday, April 28, 2017

Cheder Chabad PTA Auction


Parshas Tazria-Metzora Schedule for Tzemach Tzedek

The following is the Tzemach Tzedek schedule for Shabbos Parshas Tazria-Metzora:

Friday - ערב ש"ק

Licht Bentchen                                                                                        7:32pm

Minchah Erev Shabbos                                                                          7:45pm

Kabbolas Shabbos                                                                                 8:20pm

No Kiddush between 6:54/7:00pm - 7:54/8:00pm

שבת קודש

Rov's Chassidus Shiur                                                                          9:00am

Sof Zman Krias Shma                                                                            9:25am

Shacharis                                                                                             10:00am      

Minchah Gedolah                                                                                   1:29pm

Ladies' Pirkei Avos Shiur                                                                         5:30pm

Rov's Halacha Shiur                                                                               6:45pm

Minchah                                                                                                   7:30pm

Motzoei Shabbos/Maariv                                                                        8:37pm  

א גוטען שבת

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Beis Iyar Farbrengen

There will be a farbrengen in honor of ב' אייר tonight, April 27th, at Tzemach Tzedek shul, after the 8:30pm Maariv.

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated by Mr. Binyomin Philipson in memory of his late mother Mrs. Ellen (Elka bas Zisel) Philipson OBM

Dedicated in memory of Leah bas Rochel OBM

G‑d spoke to Moses, saying: “A woman who shall conceive and give birth . . .” (Leviticus 12:1–2) So begins this week’s Torah reading (Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus) 12:1-15:33).

It happens 250 times a minute, almost 15,000 times every hour. It happens after years of effort and anticipation, or “by accident.” It occurs on every socioeconomic level, in every country and village in the world. But no matter how frequently it transpires, no matter how commonplace an event it is, we always stand back in awe and say: a miracle.

That one being should give birth to, should create, another. If there is any area in which a creature emulates its Creator—if there is any act by which we express the spark of divinity at our core—it is the miracle of birth.

Yet it is this, the most G‑dly of our achievements, that most reveals the limitations of our individuality. Feeding, sleeping, thinking, producing a work of art or building a house—virtually everything we do, we can do on our own. But giving birth to a child is something we can do only together with another person. To give birth, we must cease to be an entity unto ourselves and become a part, a component, of a community of three: man, woman and G-d Al-mighty, who  provides the neshoma (soul).

Because if we are only what we are, we are most decidedly not divine. As beings unto ourselves, we are finite and self-absorbed things, manufacturers rather than creators. To create, we must rise above our individuality. To actualize our divine essence, we must transcend the bounds of self.

It is the woman, not the man, who gives birth. It is the woman who is most fulfilled in parenthood, and who most acutely feels the lack when parenthood is denied her. It is the woman who continues to mother her child long after the man has fathered it. It is the woman, according to Torah law, who exclusively determines the spiritual identity of her child.

Because it is the woman who most surrenders her selfhood to create life as she is the passive and receptive element in the procreation process. For nine months, her very body ceases to be hers alone as it bears and nurtures another life. So it is the woman, rather than the man, who “conceives and gives birth,” and to whom motherhood is a state of being, rather than an “achievement” or “experience.”

Yet everyone can become a “mother.” What comes naturally to the female part of creation can be learned and assimilated by all, and not only in giving birth to children but in every aspect of life’s endeavors. We all have the power to recognize that there is more to our existence than the narrow confines of individual identity.

A mother, with birthing, adds another life to the world who will PG impact the world in a positive way. Likewise, we all have the power to become more than we are and to do more than we can, impact  and add “life” to the world  - by becoming more receptive to the divine essence that underlies the self and pervades the whole of existence. This happens particularly as we increase our level of Jewish knowledge and intensify our Jewish awareness in the observance of the Mitzvos –both personally and helping others to become knowledgeable of this, as well.  This will cause a ripple effect throughout the world, as the world becomes a more proper and receptive venue for G-dliness!

(From Chabad.org - Rabbi Yanki Tauber)

May you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos

If you would like to dedicate the weekly Parsha Perspective in honor or memory of a person or occasion, please contact Rabbi Shusterman at yshusterman@chedermonsey.org

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Last day for Birchas HaIllanos

A reminder that today, by sunset, is the last time that one can say this Bracha with Hashem's name.

Rabbi Lesches

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

כינוס תורה א' דחוה"מ פסח - Kinus Torah, 1st day of Chol Hamoed Pesach

A large crowd of תמימים  and אנ"ש attended the Kinus Torah this past Thursday, the first day of Chol HaMoed, at K'hal Tzemach Tzedek of Monsey. The kinus was opened by the Rov, HaRav Boruch D. Lesches, followed by HaRav Chaim D. Kagan; Rov of Beis Menachem in Monsey, as well as HaRav Aron Oster; Maggid Shiur in Mesivta Lubavitch of Monsey. HaTomim Mendel Rosenbluh represented the בחורי הישיבות in Monsey. 

A big Yasher Koach to haTomim Gedalia Rosenbluh for organizing the event.










Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated by Mr. Binyomin Philipson in memory of his late mother Mrs. Ellen (Elka bas Zisel) Philipson OBM

Dedicated in memory of Leah bas Rochel OBM

Sept. 11, 1941:
In Arlington, Virginia, the U.S. Department of Defense starts construction on its new headquarters, the Pentagon.

On the same day, a new immigrant to the U.S., Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, later known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, writes in his private journal concerning two traits that make a moral and productive human being: “fins” and “scales.”

A few days later, the German army captures Kiev, capital of the Ukraine, and massacres 100,000 people in a ravine named Babi Yar.

Sept. 11, 2001:
The world is shocked when passenger airliners crash into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, killing thousands.

In this week's Torah portion (Shmeinei  [Leviticus] 9:1-11:47) is the passage:  “This may you eat of all that is in the waters: everything that has fins and scales, you may eat. But anything that has no fins and scales, you may not eat.”(11:9-10)

Kabbalah teaches that the physical attributes of fish, and of all animals, reflect their psychological and spiritual qualities. Therefore, when one eats the flesh of a particular creature, the “personality” of that creature affects the person in some way.

On September 11, 1941, the Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote in his journal:

As the armor that protects the body of the fish, scales represent the quality of integrity, which protects us from the many pitfalls that life presents. A man of integrity will not deceive his customers, in spite of the financial profits involved. He will not lie to a friend, despite the short-term gain from doing so. He will not cheat on his wife, in the face of tremendous temptation. Integrity means that one has absolute standards of right and wrong and is committed to a morality that transcends one’s moods and desires.

Fins, the wing-like organs that propel fish forward, represent ambition. A healthy sense of ambition, knowing one’s strengths and wanting to utilize them in full, to maximize his or her G‑d-given potential. It propels us to fulfill our dreams and leave our unique imprint on the world.

Which of these two qualities is more important to cultivate in life -fins or scales? What ought to be the main function of education? Should we concentrate primarily on providing our children with the confidence and skills necessary for them to become accomplished human beings? Or ought we to focus more on raising children with principles, teaching them that it is more important to do right than it is to do well? Are the two equally significant?

The Talmud teaches that all fish that have scales also have fins, but that there are fish that have fins but no scales, and that such fish are not kosher. Symbolically, this means that a human being who possesses ambition but lacks integrity is “unkosher.” Such a person may be full of confidence, driven to make an impact on society. Yet educating ambitious and confident children does not guarantee their moral health.

On the other hand, the Talmud tells us that all fish with scales have fins. While integrity is fundamental, ambition is also important. By mentioning fins as one of the signs of a kosher fish, the Torah teaches us that it is not enough to maintain our own integrity; we must also have a positive effect on the world. The lesson of the Talmud is that if we teach our children to approach life with awe before truth, with an unyielding commitment to serve a transcendent, moral G‑d, they will certainly succeed and develop “fins” as well. Regardless of their other abilities, they will find the drive to improve themselves and to make the world a better place.

The events of September 2001, like those of September 1941, dramatically altered our view of the world. They demonstrated the destructiveness of people with fierce ambition and zeal whose morality is corrupt. In his diary entry of September 11, 1941, the Rebbe was emphasizing that if we don’t want evil to triumph, we must stand up with great determination against human fish who possess fins but lack scales.

(Excerpts from Chabad.org – By Rabbi Yosef Y. Jacobson)

May you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos

If you would like to dedicate the weekly Parsha Perspective in honor or memory of a person or occasion, please contact Rabbi Shusterman at yshusterman@chedermonsey.org

Special Chof Ches Nissan Farbrengen

Please join us for a special Farbrengen in honor of כ"ח ניסן with special guest

Rabbi Leibel Groner 'שי
the Rebbe’s מזכיר

on Sunday, April 23rd, after the 8:30 Maariv.

For men and women.

Parshas Shemini Schedule for Tzemach Tzedek

The following is the Tzemach Tzedek schedule for Shabbos Mevorchim Parshas Shemini:

Friday - ערב ש"ק


Licht Bentchen                                                                                        7:24pm

Minchah Erev Shabbos                                                                          7:40pm

Kabbolas Shabbos                                                                                 8:10pm

No Kiddush between 6:55/7:00pm - 7:55/8:00pm

שבת קודש

Shabbos Mevorchim Tehillim                                                                  8:30am

Sof Zman Krias Shma                                                                            9:30am

Shacharis                                                                                             10:00am      

Kiddush/Farbrengen following Davening

Minchah Gedolah                                                                                   1:29pm

Ladies' Pirkei Avos Shiur                                                                         5:30pm

Rov's Halacha Shiur                                                                               6:45pm

Minchah                                                                                                   7:25pm

Motzoei Shabbos/Maariv                                                                        8:28pm  

א גוטען שבת

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Davening Times for the week of Parshas Shmini for Tzemach Tzedek

Shacharis - Wednesday through Friday                           6:48, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00am

Mincha - Wednesday, Thursday                                                         7:00, 7:30pm

Maariv - Wednesday, Thursday                                                 8:15, 8:30, 9:30pm

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Last Days of Pesach Schedule for Tzemach Tzedek

The following is the Tzemach Tzedek schedule for the last days of Pesach:


Sunday - ערב יו"ט

Licht Bentchen                                                                                        7:19pm

Minchah Erev Yom Tov                                                                           7:35pm

Maariv                                                                                                     8:21pm

Alos Hashachar (earliest)                                                                        4:23am

Misheyakir                                                                                               5:21am

Monday - שביעי של פסח

Sof Zman Krias Shma                                                                              9:35am

Shacharis                                                                                                10:00am               
Minchah                                                                                                    7:30pm

Licht Bentchen (not before) /Maariv                                                          8:22pm


Tuesday - אחרון של פסח

Sof Zman Krias Shma                                                                              9:34am

Shacharis                                                                                                10:00am

Yizkor                                                                                         approx. 12:00pm
   
Minchah - followed by Seudas Moshiach                                                  6:00pm

Motzoei Yom Tov/Maariv                                                                           8:23pm  

א גוטען יו"ט