Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kfar Chabad Magazine Available in Monsey

A limited number of Kfar Chabad magazines will be available at two Monsey stores, Evergreen and Rockland Kosher, starting this Friday at 10:00 AM. 
If there are no copies left, please call 718-778-0804

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

Who hasn't spent time lamenting their lost youth? Every day we waste is an opportunity squandered; every year that goes by without growth is a graveyard of abandoned hopes and aspirations.

The only consolation, is the recognition that it is never too late to climb off the carousel of abandon and to begin the process of self-reinvention. History's roll call of achievement is crowded with individuals who came to greatness only late in life. Read the biographies of the Rich 200 for instance; for every dot-com teenage billionaire, there are 100 others who achieved success only after a lifetime accumulating experience.

The spiritual plane is no exception. Great accomplishments can be realized no matter one's starting date. The Lubavitcher Rebbe became Rebbe just two months before his 49th birthday and proceeded to totally revolutionize the Jewish world. On a more modest basis, so many of our best and brightest scholars, teachers and exemplars worldwide only rediscovered their Jewish heritage in adulthood.

In this week's Torah portion, Lech-Lecho (Bereishis [Genesis] 12:1-17:27) we are introduced to the first Jew, our ancestor Abraham, with G-d's command to him to, "Leave your land, birthplace and father's home, to the land that I will show you" (Genesis 12:1).

These words were directed to Abraham at the age of 75, after a lifetime spent discovering G-d and propagating the religion that was to become Judaism. Interestingly, none of his previous life experiences--his self-sacrifice, his power struggles with the entrenched hierarchies of the day, or his successes to date in spreading monotheism--were deemed important enough to be worthy of mention in the Torah. It is almost as if the lifework of this major historical figure and the progenitor of our race began only then.

Herein lies the difference between Judaism and other philosophies. Most people think that to come close to G-d you must first understand Him. Spend years studying the dogmas and theologies of faith, and then, once convinced of the rectitude of your chosen path, you may embark on a lifetime of devotion.

Not Judaism, not Abraham. G-d's first directive to Abraham that is relevant to us is "Go!" "Leave!" Abraham was commanded, "Leave your past behind; set aside logic, preconceived notions, tribal affiliations, and just go wherever I direct you and do whatever I say."

Faith is fine, logic is lovely, but a Jew serves G-d, first and foremost, by actions and deeds. Mitzvot, G-d's commandments, are our way of approaching G-d. G-d chose, for whatever reason, these specific actions to complete that connection and we, by fulfilling these Mitzvos, justify our existence.

Abraham, at the age of 75, was embarking on a new campaign. From now on he would follow G-d wherever, whenever and however he was ordered.

Whatever one's age, background, or previous experiences, we, Abraham's descendants and spiritual heirs, have inherited this capacity for self-creation, as our each and every action is accomplished for no other reason than because G-d wants it so.

(Excerpts from - by Rabbi Elisha Greenbaum)

New Session of Avos U'Banim Starting This Motzai Shabbos

The 5775 session of Avos U'Banim will begin this Motzai Shabbos, Parshas Lech Lecha, from 8:00 to 9:00 PM (the clock is changed this Sunday) at Tzemach Tzedek.

There will be prizes, raffles and pizza and and most importantly a chance for sons to spend quality time learning with their fathers.

Anyone who would like the zchus to sponsor such a special hour of learning of so many children and  fathers, in honor or memory of a dear one, please contact Rabbi Shusterman at 917-282-3505.

Seeking Substitute Teacher

The Hebrew Academy in New City is seeking a Limudei Kodesh substitute teacher for Elementary grades for November 10 - November 21, 2014, Mon - Fri.

Must have own transportation.

Please call (845) 634-095 or email

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mazel Tov to Rabbi & Rebbetzin Lesches!

Mazel tov to Rabbi and Rebbetzin Lesches on the birth of a grandson born to Rabbi Elchonon and Giti Lesches!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Weekly Tanya Shiur for Women

There will be an "Introduction to Tanya" class for ladies given by Rabbi Boruch Greenwald every Thursday from 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM at the Greenwald home, 24 Fessler Drive.

Please contact Leah Greenwald at 845-362-1374 with any questions.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mazel Tov Oberlanders - L'chaim on Monday Night!

Mazel tov to Rabbi Gedalia and Sarah Leah Oberlander on the engagement of their daughter Rivka Perry to Yossi Posen of London, England!

The l'chaim will take place tonight, Monday, at 9:30 PM at Nikolsburgh Hall, 6 Milton Place in Spring

Save the Date - Women's Hair Wrapping Event

Chabad of Suffern Hosts Anne Frank's Stepsister & Geraldo Rivera

SUFFERN - The stepsister of Anne Frank paid a special visit to Suffern Sunday.

Eva Schloss, 85, was at the Lafayette Theater to share memories of Auschwitz and her hopes for the future.

The Chabad of Suffern organized the historic visit and Geraldo Rivera moderated the program.

"Unfortunately, the world hasn't learned enough. People again how dangerous it is to have discrimination and hatred especially religious discrimination," she said.

She says that Anne Frank was her childhood playmate before both families went into hiding separately.  In 1944, the Schloss family was betrayed by someone posing as part of the resistance.  The family was arrested and sent to Auschwitz in Poland where Schloss' father and brother would die.

She and her mother survived, and her mother later married Otto Frank, Anne Frank's father.

Schloss says after surviving Auschwitz, she made her way to England where she married and raised three daughters.  Since 1985, she has dedicated herself to Holocaust education and global peace.

By News 12

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mincha Time Change

The daily Mincha minyan at Tzemach Tzedek is now at 5:30 PM. 

Cheder Eighth Graders Begin Yeshivas Erev

Next week a new program in Cheder Chabad called "Ach Katon, Ach Gadol", where bochurim in eighth grade will be learning with students from the younger grades, will be starting.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

There are a variety of strategies for coping with difficult situations, both in the life of an individual and also in that of the community. The story of Noah's Ark helps us evaluate these. The Flood came as G‑d's response to the abyss of evil into which humanity had fallen, with every kind of violence and licentiousness. First came a Divine warning to Noah that the Flood would take place. Then he began building the Ark. The Sages tell us that for a hundred and twenty years he worked on this project. During this long time, it might be hoped, he would convince other people to change their ways. In this way, he would prevent the Flood from coming, he would save the world.

However, although Noah was dedicated to his task, he did not save anyone outside his own family. We could say that the fact that he saved his three sons and their wives was itself an achievement. And of course, his Ark was a refuge for thousands of species of animal and bird. Indeed, although many people mocked him, Noah was not deterred. However, he was not able to help the rest of humanity. We do not even see him making an attempt to do so.

The rain began to fall. According to the Sages, it began gently. If the people of his generation would have repented, the rain would have been rain of blessing. Unfortunately, they did not repent. The rain became stronger. Noah and his family went into the Ark, together with the stream of animals and birds which came to it of their own accord. The torrential rain became the Flood, destroying everything. Noah and his family were saved, and as a result, the line of humanity and of animal life continued through the millennia. But had Noah really succeeded? According to the Sages: No. He did what he was told, he saved himself and his immediate loved ones; but he did not try to save everyone else.

When there are serious problems one’s response is to build an Ark and hide oneself away in it. One takes refuge from a hostile world. This can be a very spiritual refuge; it can even be deeply holy, like Noah's Ark. This itself is an important step, and is a skill one needs to learn. The word "Ark" in Hebrew is tevah which also means "word." There are beautiful words of Torah study and of prayer. One can take refuge in them in a secluded environment and transcend all problems.

But this is not the final goal. The true aim is to change the world. To try to make sure that no Flood will come, for anyone. Or at least, to make the attempt. The Sages comment that Noah could have prayed to G‑d on behalf of everyone else, he could have communicated directly with others and sought to transform the society around him. He should not have given up. They compare him unfavorably with Abraham, who did try to change people and the world. When G‑d told him that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed, Abraham argued with G‑d on their behalf, trying to save them. He did not give up on humanity: instead he taught it Monotheism, a vital element in world civilization.

The different approaches of Noah and Abraham are relevant to our lives as the Jewish people, and as individuals. On the one hand, we have to be able to stand up for what is right, even when all around us are doing wrong, and create our own positive and healthy environment. But at the same time we need to realize that we have the power to affect others for the better, to change their direction, especially after our unique empowerment at Sinai when we received the Torah. Ultimately, every individual can change the world

(Excerpts from – by Rabbi  Tali Loewenthal)

Toameha Club Today

The Toameha Club will resume today, Friday, Rosh Chodesh MarCheshvan, Erev Shabbos Parshas Noach, in Beis Menachem starting at 1:45 PM.

Schaeffer L'chaim on Tuesday Night

The L'chaim of Chana Rochel Schaeffer and Eliezer Avtzon, will take place this Tuesday, October 28, 5 Cheshvan, at 7:30 PM at Beis Rivka, 310 Crown Street in Crown Heights.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Toameha Club Boys Chol HaMoed Program

The Toameha Club for boys in 7th and 8th grades and first year Mesivta enjoyed a wonderful Chol HaMoed program which included mivtzoim and a farbrengen with Rabbi Michoel Hazan.

Photos: Shmuel Amram

Hundreds Dance at Simchas Beis Hashoeiva in Wesley Kosher Parking Lot

Hundreds of men, women and children, representing the greater Monsey community, joined together for a grand Simchas Beis Hashoeiva, organized by Beis Menachem Mendel Lubavitch of Pomona, in the parking lot of Wesley Kosher on Sunday night of Chol HaMoed.

Photos: Moshe Reitman

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Seeking Ride

Looking for a ride to Crown Heights for one or two children tomorrow, Hoshana Raba. 

Please call Leah Poltorak at 914-584-6902

Monday, October 13, 2014

Seeking Leaders for Children's Program on Simchas Torah

Beis Menachem Mendel Lubavitch of Pomona is looking for an older bochur and girl or a young couple to lead a children's program on Simchas Torah. Please contact 718-759-8848 or

Toameha Club Program on Tuesday

The Toameha Club for boys will have a program this Tuesday, Chol HaMoed, for boys in 7th and 8th grades and first year Mesivta. 

The program is as follows:

1:30 PM - Meet at Bais Menachem, 360 Route 306, to leave for Mivtzoim

4:00 PM - Farbrengen in the Amram's Sukkah, 17 Sandy Brook Drive

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Heichal Menachem Simcha Beis Hashoeivos

Updated Community SBH & Tzemach Tzedek Sukkos Schedules

For the updated Community Simchas Beis Hashoeiva Schedule, please click here.

For the updated Tzemach Tzedek Sukkos Schedule, please click here.

Don't forget to make an Eruv Tavshilin today.

Best wishes for a very freilichin Yom Tov!

Grand Kinus Torah on Monday

Sukkos Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

An ongoing debate in many Western societies today revolves around the value of multiculturalism versus the importance of assimilating the various groups and segments which constitute a society into a homogeneous entity. As is the case with the majority of widely debated issues, both sides of this particular polemic bring valid points and convincing arguments to the discussion table.

On one hand, a society is enriched by diversity and exposure to a variety of cultures, languages and value systems. Coercing elements of society to conform to a particular mold -- no matter how splendid that mold may be -- is an attempt to stifle the soul of that element, and anathema to a culture that prides itself in allowing Freedom of Expression. As Kabbalah teaches, true beauty results from the harmonization of diverse colors and flavors.

We, too, struggle with the issue of forging a multicultural population into a singular Jewish nationOn the other hand, the smooth functionality of a nation depends largely on a united population that feels a strong kinship with each other. Diverse segments of a population which are constantly competing with each other make for an unhealthy society. Globally, much violence, strife, and many civil wars result from tensions between co-citizens of rivaling religions, values or ethnicities. Thus, the acculturation of a nation's citizens might sound harsh and nationalistic, but is actually the key to a unified, and ultimately a stable society.

The Jewish nation is also demographically diverse: Ashkenazim, Sephardim, chassidim, observant, not so observant, scholars, laymen, men, women, etc. We, too, struggle with the issue of forging a multicultural population into a singular nation. Sociologists attempting to resolve the Melting Pot issue would perhaps be well-advised to examine the Torah's perspective on e pluribus unum.

We are now ushering in the holiday of Sukkot. The two primary mitzvot of this holiday are dwelling in the sukkah and the taking of the Four Kinds. Jewish unity is one of the primary themes of this holiday, and these two mitzvot are symbolic of two approaches to Jewish unity; the sukkah champions the cause of Jewish nationalism and focuses on our nation as a homogeneous unit, while the Four Kinds symbolize the importance of "Jewish multiculturalism."

We sit in a sukkah in commemoration of the Clouds of Glory which miraculously encircled the Jewish people while they traveled in the desert. The clouds did not differentiate between one Jew and another -- all were equal beneficiaries of their shade and protection. We, too, sit together in a sukkah as a symbol of our unity. We focus on that what unites us -- our common values, mission, and souls -- rather than that which divides us. We leave behind our differences and unite behind one flag.

The “Lulov and Etrog” - Four Kinds - however, tell a different story. According to the Midrash, the four different species represent different sorts of Jews, spanning the spectrum from the most observant and scholarly to the simplest of our people. Nevertheless, we take the Four Kinds and hold them together, because we are one people despite the differences. But as opposed to the sukkah, this mitzvah doesn't attempt to achieve unity by ignoring our differences; rather it points out the differences, embraces them, and secures our unity in spite of them.

This is because unity achieved at the expense of disregarding our unique personalities and strengths is a flawed unity. It means that the unity is very limited; limited to our shared goals and souls. Our daily lives which are so colored by our unique personalities remain unaffected by the sukkah-style unity.

But without the type of unity advocated by the sukkah, the multicultural approach of the Four Kinds would not succeed. For without an underlying unifying factor, diverse people have nothing to rally around. The Four Kinds is an endeavor to build on the unity of the sukkah by injecting our individual personalities with our pervading unity; by devoting our assorted strengths, talents, and natures to perpetuating the ideals that unite us; by recognizing that the different pieces of the puzzle may look dissimilar, but are all there to complete one picture.

(Excerpts from - by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg)

Sukkos Notes from Rabbi Simcha Werner

Seeking Ride

Looking for a ride Motzei Shabbos or Sunday morning from Crown Heights to Monsey or New City. Please email

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tzemach Tzedek Sukkos 5775 Schedule

!ושמחת בחגך והיית אך שמח

The following is the Sukkos 5775 schedule for Khal Tzemach Tzedek (for the community Simcha Beis Hashoeiva schedule, click here.):

Wednesday, ערב סוכות, י"ד תשרי (October 8):
Shacharis 1: 7:00 AM
Shacharis 2: 8:00 AM
Shacharis 3: 9:00 AM
עירוב תבשילין
Licht Bentching: 6:09 PM
Mincha: 6:20 PM

Thursday, א' דסוכות, ט"ו תשרי (October 9):
Shacharis: 10:00 AM
Birchas Kohanim
Mincha: 6:15 PM
Licht Bentching: After 7:06 PM

Friday, ב' דסוכות, ט"ז תשרי (October 10):
Shacharis: 10:00 AM
Birchas Kohanim
Mincha: 6:15 PM
Licht Benching: 6:05 PM

שבת קודש, א' דחול המועד י"ז תשרי (October 11):
Shacharis: 10:00 AM
Kinus Torah: 5:15 PM
Mincha: 6:05 PM
Maariv & Shabbos Ends: 7:03 PM

Sunday, ב' דחול המועד י"ח תשרי (October 12):
Shacharis 1: 8:00 AM
Shacharis 2: 9:00 AM
Shacharis 3: 10:00 AM
Mincha: 6:00 PM
Maariv 1: 8:30 PM
Maariv 2: 9:30 PM

Please note that the First Minyan of Shacharis on Chol HaMoed weekdays will be at 7:10 AM to allow for bentching Lulav & Esrog after sunrise and before Shachris.

Monday, ג' דחול המועד י"ט תשרי (October 13 ):
Shacharis 1: 7:10 AM
Shacharis 2: 8:00 AM
Shacharis 3: 9:00 AM
Shacharis 4: 10:00 AM
Mincha: 6:00 PM
Grand Kinus Torah: 6:30 PM
Maariv 1: 8:30 PM
Maariv 2: 9:30 PM

Tuesday, ד' דחול המועד כ' תשרי (October 14):
Shacharis 1: 7:10 AM
Shacharis 2: 8:00 AM
Shacharis 3: 9:00 AM
Shacharis 4: 10:00 AM
Mincha: 6:00 PM
Maariv 1: 8:30 PM
Maariv 2: 9:30 PM

Tuesday Night / Wednesday Morning, הושענא רבה, כ"א תשרי (October 14 / 15):
12:00 AM: משנה תורה
1:00 AM: תהלים

Wednesday, הושענא רבה, כ"א תשרי (October 15):     
Shacharis 1: 7:10 AM
Shacharis 2: 8:00 AM
Shacharis 3: 9:00 AM
Shacharis 4: 10:00 AM
עירוב תבשילין
Licht Bentching: 5:59 PM
Mincha: 6:10 PM
Maariv: 7:00 PM

Thursday, שמיני עצרת, כ"ב תשרי (October 16):
Shacharis: 10:00 AM
Yizkor: Approximately 12:00 PM
Tefilas Geshem
Birchas Kohanim
Mincha: 6:10 PM
Licht Bentching: After 6:55 PM
Maariv: 7:00 PM

Friday, שמחת תורה כ"ג תשרי (October 17):
Shacharis: 10:00 AM
Birchas Kohanim
Licht Benching: 5:58 PM
Mincha: 6:10 PM

שבת קודש פרשת בראשית (October 18):
תהלים לשבת מברכים 8:30
Shacharis: 10:00
Mincha: 5:55 PM
סדר ניגונים וחזרת דא"ח
Maariv – Shabbos Ends: 6:52 PM

ראש חודש מרחשון will take place on Friday & Shabbos, October 24th & 25th.

!ויעקב הלך לדרכו

Mazel Tov Schaeffers!

Mazel tov to Leib and Chaya Schaeffer on the engagement of their daughter, Chana Rochel, to Eliezer Avtzon of Hong Kong!

Community Simchas Beis Hashoeiva 5775 Schedule

The following is the community Simchas Beis Hashoeiva 5775 schedule:

Wednesday, First Night of Sukkos, (October 8):
  • In the Sukkah of Dovid Kaplan, 18 Underwood Road, Monsey
  • In the Sukkah of Aroni Chein, 5 Auburn Court, Monsey
  • In the Sukkah of Sruli Friedman, 14 White Birch Drive, Pomona
Thursday, Second Night of Sukkos (October 9):
  • In the Sukkah of Yitzi Lipszyc, 21 Brockton Road, New Hempstead
  • In the Sukkah of Yona Abenson, 33 Sherwood Ridge Road, Pomona
Friday, Shabbos Kodesh, First Night of Chol HaMoed (October 10)
  • In the Sukkah of Gavriel Siklos, 15 Green Hill Lane, New Hempstead
  • In the Sukkah of N. Katz, 6 Anders Lane, Pomona
Motzai Shabbos Kodesh, Second Night of Chol HaMoed (October 11):
  • From 9:30 PM in the Sukkah of Yossi Wolfson, 21 New County Road, Airmont
  • From 9:00 PM in the Sukkah of Rabbi Chaim D. Kagan, 5 West Fessler Drive, Monsey
Sunday, Third Night of Chol Hamoed (October 12):
  • Community SBH in Wesley Kosher parking lot featuring a live band, children's program and singer Beri Weber. Children's program at 7:15 PM followed by SBH at 8:00 PM. See flyer here.
Monday, Fourth Night of Chol HaMoed (October 13):
  • From 9:00 PM in the Sukkah of Rebbetzin Wichnin, 119 West Maple Avenue, Monsey
Tuesday, Hoshana Rabba (October 14):
  • For 7th and 8th graders and shiur aleph mesivta boys there will be mivtzoim followed by a farbrengen in the Beis Menachem Sukkah.
For Heichal Menachem Simchas Beis Hashoeivos, please click here

Monday, October 6, 2014

Grand Community Simchas Beis Hashoeva on Sunday Night

First Month at Mesivta Lubavitch of Monsey

Mesivta Lubavitch of Monsey has now completed its first month of the new zman with, Boruch Hashem, much hatzlocha.

The zal is filled with the sounds of twenty bochurim joined by the Talmidei Hashluchim, learning, davening, farbrenging and growing in Chassidishkeit.

 Some highlights of the first month include:
  • Serious learning Be’Iyun.  Bochurim are divided into two groups, allowing the more advanced Talmidim to learn more meforshim and more be’iyun.
  • Chassidishkeit and inyonei Chabad are strongly emphasized.  Each week Bochurim learn about Yemei Chabad and other inyonei deyoma relevant to Tmimim.
  • Emphasis on learning the Rebbe’s Sichos each evening.  The shluchim divide the bochurim into groups and help the boys learn and prepare a weekly Sicha. One of the goals is being able to give it over on their mivtzoyim routes and at the Shabbos seudos. At the end of the week, they are farhered on the Sicha.
  • Shluchim organizing various mivtzas to bring more chayus to the extra learning and inyonim that the boys do outside of sedarim on their own time.
  • A few Chassidishe farbrengens and Melave Malkas with the Rav of our Kehilla, HaRav Lesches, Shl”ita, Yeshiva Hanhola, and special guests.
  • Mivtzoyim – the Shluchim have distributed routes to the Bochurim who have already met many local Yidden on those routes who were open to Tefillin, Neshek, and more.
  • Sports and exercise – Bochurim have the opportunity to swim once a week as well as play daily sports on Yeshiva grounds and local facilities.
  • Stress is placed on personal responsibility, integrity and respect for chaveirim.  Each bochur is given tasks in helping maintain cleanliness and orderliness in Yeshiva grounds teaching responsibility and mentchlichkeit, in addition to their learning. 

Tzemach Tzedek 5775 Membership Forms

Monsey Mosdos Calender Magnet

A magnet with the school calendars for the local mosdos for 5775 was mailed to the community from Monsey Beis Chaya Mushka.

If you did not get one, please contact Rabbi Yossi Touger at 845-634-7400 ext. 300 or

Three Sukkah Mobiles to Hit Rockland Streets This Sukkos

Three Sukkah Mobiles will hit the streets of Rockland on Chol HaMoed Sukkos.

They will visit Nyack, New City, RCC, JCC, Palisades Mall, Nanuet Mall, Piermont, Pomona, and the Suffern train station offering hundreds of Jews a chance to perform the Mitzvah of Lulav.

The Sukkah Mobiles in past years were much appreciated by all. Driving through the streets of Monsey, we got many thumbs ups and appreciation for spreading Yiddishkeit.

If you would like to participate, or for dedication opportunities, please contact Sruly Kagan at 845-274-5075 or

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Package From CH

If anyone is coming from Crown Heights to Monsey for Succos and has some trunk space, please contact Chana Gray at 845-354-0194

Hosting a Simchas Beis Hashoeiva?

If you are hosting a Simchas Beis Hashoeiva this Sukkos and would like it to be listed in this website, please email the details (name, address, day, time, etc.) to before this Tuesday at 9:00 AM. 

Package From Montreal

if you are coming/going, or know of someone how is coming/going, from Monsey to Montreal during the next couple of weeks, and have space to bring some things for me, please contact me at 514-733-1815, or

Shiur on Preparing for Sukkos

Daily Mincha Time Change

Starting today, Sunday, and for the next two weeks the daily Mincha minyan at Tzemach Tzedek is at 6:00 PM. 

Seeking Bochurim Today

The Shul is in need of help after Mincha today (Sunday) at Tzemach Tzedek to reconfigure the tables and chairs from the Yomim Noraim se- up to the regular set-up. 

All yeshiva boys home for Yom Tov are encouraged to volunteer!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Yom Kippur Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

When Moses ascended to the supernal abode, he heard the angels singing the words “Baruch shem kevod malchuto le’olam va’ed” (“Blessed be the name of the glory of His Kingdom forever and ever”), and upon his descent he taught it to Israel. Why does Israel not proclaim these words openly [but rather whisper them in an undertone during the daily Shema service]? Says Rabbi Asi, “This is comparable to a man who stole a gem from the royal palace and gave it to his wife. ‘I implore you,’ he said to her, ‘never wear this gem in public, only in the privacy of your home.’ However, on Yom Kippur, when they are pure as angels, they proclaim these words loudly.” (Midrash)

On the surface, this Midrash raises more questions than it answers. If this prayer belongs to the angels, why did Moses steal it? If we announce the theft on Yom Kippur, what is the purpose of further stealth after Yom Kippur? How does Yom Kippur enhance our purity?

Immediately following the above account, the Midrash goes on to explain that there are five levels to the soul, of which the fifth and highest is yechidah, from the root yachid, which translates as “alone” or “unique.” The Midrash tells of the intimate connection between G‑d and the soul, especially on the fifth and highest level. “Just as G‑d is alone . . . so too is the soul alone.”

Once a year, on Yom Kippur, the high priest would enter the Temple’s innermost sanctuary, known as the Holy of Holies. The Jerusalem Talmud (Yoma 1:5) teaches that when the high priest entered the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, he was alone with G‑d; even the angels were not permitted entry. This is to say that the connection between G‑d and his human soul at that moment was so intense that it was even beyond the spiritual capacity of angels. Only G‑d and Man are allowed into this unique relationship. Just as G‑d is alone, so too is the soul alone - with G‑d.

We don’t have our Holy Temple service today, but in its place we have the prayers. We pray thrice daily. On Shabbat and holidays we add a fourth prayer, Musaf, which means “addition.” Yom Kippur is the only day in the year in which we add Neilah, a fifth prayer to be said as the sun is setting and the day comes to a close.

Chassidism explains that the five prayers are linked to the five levels of the soul. Thus, the fifth prayer we say on Yom Kippur represents yechidah. During the year, this level lies concealed within us, too holy for the mundane world. But on Yom Kippur, yechidah is uncovered. This was the level which was revealed by the high priest in the Holy of Holies. The level which, the Talmud teaches, is beyond even the angels. The level which, the Midrash teaches, is alone; one with G‑d.

We now understand the secret behind the so-called “theft” of the Baruch Shem prayer. This holy prayer should be recited only by the most spiritually exalted beings. The angels are entitled to chant it. And on its highest level, that of yechidah, each of our souls is holier even than the angels, which is why we do indeed chant it throughout the year.

But because this level of soulfulness is not evident within us throughout the year, we chant it quietly. To chant it loudly would be a form of “theft,” suggesting that our internal holiness is more accessible to us than it truly is. We are holy, but our holiness is concealed; this is why we chant the prayer, but we conceal our chant by whispering it.

It follows that on Yom Kippur, when this level of the soul is fully revealed within us, we proclaim our right to this prayer in a loud voice. May we appreciate and be inspired by this moment and day in the fullest measure!

 (Excerpts from – by Rabbi Lazer Gurkow)

8th Day Performing Locally on Chanukah

8th Day will be headlining the annual Chanukah concert in support of the Center for Jewish Life at RCC.

The concert will be held on Motzei Shabbos, the 5th night of Chanukah, December 20.

More details and information to purchase tickets to come after Sukkos.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Seeking Apartment

Single Lubavitch mother with two toddlers looking for a basement apartment (studio or 1 bedroom) to rent that is within walking distance from Tzemach Tzedek.

Basement must have stove/oven + bathtub.

Please call 347-856-1740 for more information or if you know of any apartments.


Seeking Ride to Montreal

Looking for a ride from Monsey to Montreal this Thursday afternoon. Will chip in with driving and gas costs. Please call 347-374-1978.

Yom Kippur 5775 Schedule for Tzemach Tzedek

The following is the Yom Kippur 5775 schedule for K'hal Tzemach Tzedek:

Friday, ערב יום כיפור, ט' תשרי  (October 3):
Kapparos in the early morning (עלות השחר 5:33)
Shacharis 1 -  6:30 AM
Shacharis 2 - 7:00 AM (Lekach)
Shacharis 3 - 8:00 AM
Mincha 1: 2:00 PM
Mincha 2:  3:00 PM
Seudah HaMafsekes
Licht Bentchen – Fast Begins: 6:17 PM
Kol Nidrei: 6:30 PM
Tehillim and Kabbolas Shabbos/Maariv

שבת קודש , יום כיפור,   (October 4):
Shacharis: 9:00 AM
Yizkor: Approximately 12:15
Mincha: 4:45 PM
Motzoei Yom Tov  & Fast Ends: 7:14 PM

Children's Program:
There will be no children's groups on Yom Kippur.

Best wishes for a 
 !גמר חתימה טובה