Thursday, August 31, 2017

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated in memory of Elka bas Zisel OBM

Dedicated in memory of Leah bas Rochel OBM

Dear Friend,                                                                                                                                               

We are currently in the Hebrew month of Elul, just a few weeks away from Rosh Hashanah and the High Holidays – a time of reflection, introspection and taking on new resolutions with which to enhance our lives, spiritually and meaningfully. 

Cheder Chabad of Monsey hopes that these weekly Torah thoughts will help inspire to achieve those goals. All the students, staff and administration of Cheder Chabad of Monsey wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. May this year be the year of the full and complete redemption with the coming of our righteous Moshiach - NOW! 

It has been called “the world’s longest hatred.” It continues to rear its ugly head across countries and continents. Whether it manifests in the crude bigotry of the lower crass or the snide subtleties of the upper crust, anti-Semitism is a fact of life.

Of course, we all wish it would finally go away. We even had reason to hope that after Auschwitz, it really would. Who among us doesn’t want to feel accepted and appreciated? But there is a strong argument to suggest that, in a perverse sort of way, anti-Semitism has been good for the Jews. 

Without the constant reminders and threats to our existence, we Jews would have been lulled into a peaceful and passive state of national amnesia. Secure in our comfort zones, we might have lost much of our unique identity.

History records that under regimes that persecuted us, we remained steadfastly Jewish; whereas under more enlightened, liberal forms of government, we gradually embraced a welcoming but dominant culture, forfeiting much of our own.

Towards the end of this week's Torah reading of Ki Teitzei (Devorim [Deuteronomy] 21:10-25:19).we read of the commandment to remember the unprovoked attack by the nation of Amalek against the Israelites when they left Egypt. The command comes in the form of the word zachor—“Remember”—at the beginning of the section. The final words are lo tishkach—“you shall not forget.” But why the need for both expressions? And what difference is there between “remembering” and “not forgetting”? Surely one is superfluous?

Commentaries suggest that “remember” is a command to the Jewish people, while “do not forget” would seem to be a more of a prediction—i.e., they will not let you forget! Should you ever lapse into a false sense of security and forget your Jewishness, the anti-Semites of the world will be there to remind you who you are—“a people that dwells alone” (Numbers 23:9).

Everything has a purpose in creation. There is nothing superfluous in G‑d’s world. So what is the purpose of an anti-Semite? Just that—to remind Jews that they are Jewish!

But why wait for the Amalekites of this world to remind us? Do we want or need their taunting? Rather, let us be proactively Jewish, positively Jewish and Jewishly positive. You can sing the old Yiddish song one of two ways. Either it is Oy, es iz gut tzu zein a yid (“Oh, it is good to be a Jew . . .”) or Oy, es iz shver tzu zein a yid (“Oy, it is hard to be a Jew . . .”). There are a million good reasons, positive reasons, to be proudly Jewish. If seventy years ago being Jewish carried a death sentence, today it is a life sentence, promising a meaningful and blessed life. And when we decide to live proud, committed Jewish lives, we make a fascinating discovery: when we respect ourselves, the world respects us too. And that applies across the board, from the individual Jew to the collective Jewish community.

Judaism is a boon, not a burden. We should be staunch about our heritage. It is a badge of honor to wear with noble pride. If you don’t know why, go and study—but that’s for another discussion.

(Excerpts from Chabad.org - by Rabbi Yossy Goldman)

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

Friday, August 25, 2017

Parshas Shoftim Schedule for Tzemach Tzedek

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

Friday - ערב ש"ק


Licht Bentchen                                                                                       7:21pm

Minchah Erev Shabbos                                                                          7:30pm

Kabbolas Shabbos                                                                                 8:10pm

שבת קודש

Rov's Chassidus Shiur                                                                           9:00am

Sof Zman Krias Shma                                                                            9:37am

Shacharis                                                                                             10:00am 

Ladies' Pirkei Avos Shiur                                                                        5:15pm

Rov's Halachah Shiur                                                                             6:30pm

Minchah                                                                                                  7:20pm

Motzoei Shabbos/Maariv                                                                        8:21pm  

א גוטען שבת

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated in memory of Elka bas Zisel OBM

Dedicated in memory of Leah bas Rochel OBM

Dear Friend,                                       
                                                                                               
We are currently in the Hebrew month of Elul, just a few weeks away from Rosh Hashanah and the High Holidays – a time of reflection, introspection and taking on new resolutions with which to enhance our lives, spiritually and meaningfully.

Cheder Chabad of Monsey hopes that these weekly Torah thoughts will help inspire to achieve those goals. All the students, staff and administration of Cheder Chabad of Monsey wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. May this year be the year of the full and complete redemption with the coming of our righteous Moshiach - NOW!

Don’t be judgmental. Unless, of course, you happen to be a judge. Then it’s your job.

This week’s Torah portion, Shoftim (Devorim [Deuteronomy] 16:18-21:9), is always read on the first Shabbat of the month of Elul. As nothing is accidental, this Torah portion must contain important lessons for us to implement during this auspicious month.

The Parshah begins with the biblical command for judges to be appointed in every city and town to adjudicate and maintain a just, ordered, civil society. Interestingly, it occurs in the first week of Elul, the month in which we are to prepare in earnest for the Days of Judgment ahead, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

There are, however, some significant differences between earthly judges of flesh and blood and the heavenly judge. In the earthly court, if after a fair trial a defendant is found guilty, then there’s really not much room for clemency on the part of the judge. The law is the law and must take its course. The accused may shed rivers of tears, but no human judge can be certain if his remorse is genuine. After all, a human judge may only make a decision based on “what the eye can see.” The misdeed was seen to have been committed. The remorse, who knows? Perhaps he’s a good actor and is only acting contrite.

The Supreme Judge on High, however, does know whether the accused genuinely regrets his actions or is merely putting on an act. Therefore, He alone is able to forgive. That is why in heavenly judgments, teshuvah (repentance) is effective.

The Maharal of Prague gave another reason. Only G d is able to judge the whole person. Every one of us has good and bad to some extent. Even those who have sinned may have many other good deeds that outweigh the bad ones. Perhaps even one good deed was of such major significance that it alone could serve as a weighty counterbalance. The point is, only G d knows. Only He can judge the individual in the context of his whole life and all his deeds, good and bad.

Our goal is to emulate the heavenly court. We should try to look at the totality of the person. You think he is bad, but is he all bad? Does he have no redeeming virtues? Surely, he must have some good in him as well. Look at the whole person.

A teacher once conducted an experiment. He held up a white plate and showed it to the class. In the center of the plate was a small black spot. He then asked the class to describe what they saw. One student said he saw a black spot. Another said it must be a target for shooting practice. A third suggested that the plate was dirty or damaged. Whereupon the teacher asked, “Doesn’t anyone see a white plate?”

There may have been a small black spot, but essentially it was a white plate. Why do we only see the dirt? Let us learn to find the good in others. Nobody is perfect, not even ourselves. Let’s not be so judgmental and critical. Let’s try to see the good in others.

(Excerpts from Chabad.org  - from  Rabbi  Yossy Goldman)

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, August 21, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Davening Times for the week of Parshas Shoftim for Tzemach Tzedek

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

Shacharis - Monday, Thursday, Friday                            6:48, 7:00, 8:00, 9:30am

Shacharis - Tuesday, Wednesday (Rosh Chodesh)                  6:45, 8:00, 9:30am

Mincha - Sunday thru Thursday                                                          7:00, 7:30pm

Maariv - Sunday thru Thursday                                                           8:20, 9:30pm

Friday, August 18, 2017

Goldfarb L'Chaim


Parshas Re'eh Schedule for Tzemach Tzedek

The following is the Tzemach Tzedek schedule for Shabbos Mevorchim Parshas Re'eh:

Friday - ערב ש"ק


Licht Bentchen                                                                                       7:32pm

Minchah Erev Shabbos                                                                          7:45pm

Kabbolas Shabbos                                                                                 8:20pm

שבת קודש

Tehillim Shabbos Mevorchim                                                                 8:30am

Sof Zman Krias Shma                                                                            9:34am

Shacharis                                                                                             10:00am  

Kiddush/Farbrengen following Davening

Ladies' Pirkei Avos Shiur                                                                        5:30pm

Rov's Halachah Shiur                                                                             6:45pm

Minchah                                                                                                  7:30pm

Motzoei Shabbos/Maariv                                                                        8:33pm  

א גוטען שבת

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated in memory of Elka bas Zisel OBM

Dedicated in memory of Leah bas Rochel OBM

Dear Friend,                                                                                                                                                                                   
This forthcoming week we will PG be starting the Hebrew month of Elul, just a few weeks away from Rosh Hashanah and the High Holidays – a time of reflection, introspection and taking on new resolutions with which to enhance our lives, spiritually and meaningfully. 
Cheder Chabad of Monsey hopes that these weekly Torah thoughts will help inspire to achieve those goals. All the students, staff and administration of Cheder Chabad of Monsey wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. May this year be the year of the full and complete redemption with the coming of our righteous Moshiach - NOW! 

Two friends were walking when they saw a sign saying, "Your country needs you!"

"Hey, David," said one to the other, "what are you waiting for? It says that they need you!"

The first word of this week's Torah reading, Re'eh ("See!") (Devorim  [Deuteronomy] 11:26-16:17), is in the singular form, even though Moses was speaking to the entire Jewish nation.
The commentator Ibn Ezra (famous early Biblical commentator, Rabbi Avraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra) explains that this is so that people would realize that "he's talking to me," to each and every one of us on a personal level.

A rabbi once gave a brilliant, inspirational sermon. Afterwards, one of the congregants came over and said, "Rabbi, that speech was absolutely brilliant. If that doesn't get through to them, nothing will!"

Get through to them? What about you, sir!

It is too easy to think that they are talking to the next person, not to me.

Throughout our lives, we are being spoken to by different people -- a spouse, a family member, a friend, an employer, a Rabbi, maybe even G-d -- trying to give us a message. It is so easy to fall into the trap of looking to the person next to us and thinking that he is the one being spoken to. Isn't it worth considering that maybe, just this one time, they're actually talking to me, and to take it to heart? 

Let’s start with a Mitzva that the Talmud refers to as the Mitzvah, because of its importance: charity.

We'll read in the Torah this week, Re'eh  (Devorim  [Deuteronomy] 11:26-16:17), that we have the responsibility and privilege to support the poor. Especially at this time of year (the month of Elul, which PG starts this week and which is the lead-in month before the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) it is traditional to increase our charitable donations. Does it really work? Why tzedakah (charity) more than any other mitzvah?

It is traditional to increase in charitable giving at this time of the year and that is why we always read this parshah the week Elul begins. We're committing to change, to improve. We pray that G-d accepts us favorably, but who among us can be truly comfortable with the year that was? Ill decisions made, promises broken and wrong forks taken on the road of life. Our only hope is that G-d takes us back, warts and all, without examining too closely whether we deserve it. And, to set an example to G-d, we too hand out help and Tzedoka with an open hand to all, (and perhaps a bit more than usual!) and with the hope that, please G-d, this year we are blessed with good health and prosperity and we will all receive the greatest gift of all: the final redemption, with our righteous Moshiach.

(Excerpts from Chabad.org)

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, August 13, 2017

Mazel Tov Lesches'!

Mazel tov to Rabbi and Rebbetzin Lesches on the birth of a grandson, born to Mordy and Mushky Gershon.

Davening Times for the week of Parshas Re'eh for Tzemach Tzedek

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

Shacharis - Monday thru Friday                                      6:48, 7:00, 8:00, 9:30am

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

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

Parshas Ekev Schedule for Tzemach Tzedek

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

Friday - ערב ש"ק

Licht Bentchen                                                                                       7:42pm

Minchah Erev Shabbos                                                                          7:55pm

Kabbolas Shabbos                                                                                 8:30pm

שבת קודש

Rov's Chassidus Shiur                                                                           9:00am

Sof Zman Krias Shma                                                                            9:32am

Shacharis                                                                                             10:00am  

Grand Kiddush/Farbrengen following Davening

Ladies' Pirkei Avos Shiur                                                                        5:30pm

Rov's Halachah Shiur                                                                             6:55pm

Minchah                                                                                                  7:40pm

Motzoei Shabbos/Maariv                                                                        8:44pm  

א גוטען שבת

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated in memory of Elka bas Zisel OBM

Dedicated in memory of Leah bas Rochel OBM

In the Talmud, the sages tell us that before a child is born, the heavenly court decides whether he or she is destined to live a life of riches or a life of modest means. Whatever scenario he or she is given, will be part of their life’s test. And of the two, the test of wealth is more severe. The particular challenge that money presents is the notion of independence from G‑d. When a person works to create success and security for himself, it is hard to feel tenderly dependent on the Creator. It is equally difficult for the wealthy not to feel intrinsically superior to the average person. To remain humble and G‑d-centered in the face of prosperity, is a colossal challenge.

Being broke, on the other hand, is also a test from G‑d. Can you trust that the creator of the world will provide for your needs? Are you able to maintain the belief that G‑d is good, despite the bad times? This is the challenging face of poverty.

When the Jews finally entered into the Land of Israel, where they would set up a national economic system, they were well-trained to have a very healthy perspective towards money. Surprisingly, it was not through lectures orTorah classes that they gleaned this healthy perspective, but through forty years of eating Manna, as described in this week’s Parsha, Eikev (Devorim [Deuteronomy] 7:12-11:25).

The manna made the Jew feel both rich and poor simultaneously. Rich, because manna was heavenly bread, and would miraculously taste like anything its eater requested. It was absolute wonder bread. But it made them feel poor, since it necessitated pocket-to-mouth living. Only enough manna fell for the day’s feed. If one left over food for tomorrow, the leftovers would spoil. G‑d cares, and He will provide again tomorrow. There was no sense of provisions surplus; although you were fed today, there was no absolute security for tomorrow. This is the fear of the business owner whose business makes just enough to stay afloat. I paid my bills today, but the future is unknown.

For forty years, the people had to come to terms with their rationed food. Each day they had the opportunity to practice two helpful meditations: a) All abundance comes from G‑d, and b) G‑d cares, and He will provide again tomorrow.

Perhaps this is why Moses preserved a bit of the manna, as a reminder that G-d Al-mighty is the ultimate source of one’s sustenance.  It symbolized this balanced meditation that may take a lifetime to master. But when practiced often enough, it affords enormous serenity to the affluent and the indigent alike.

(Adapted from a talk by the Lubavitcher Rebbe by Rochel Holzkenner)

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, August 7, 2017

Seeking Ride to Ohel

Looking for a ride to Ohel today 15  Av.

347-457-9408.

Tu B'Av Farbrengen

There will be a farbrengen in honor of ט"ו באב tonight, August 7th, at Tzemach Tzedek shul, after the 8:40pm Maariv.

Davening Times for the week of Parshas Ekev for Tzemach Tzedek

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

Shacharis - Monday thru Friday                                       6:48, 7:00, 8:00, 9:30am

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

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

Friday, August 4, 2017

5777 Summer Matching Campaign

Dear Cheder Parents and Ana”sh Community Members,

Summer is in full swing and we are all looking enjoying the nice weather, outdoor family activities and sending the children off to day camp. At this time, we must also remember our Partners who work selflessly during the school year to educate the children in our Community.

The Rebbe’s and Morahs of Cheder Chabad of Monsey have completed another year of quality Chinuch, with unparalleled devotion to our children. They are already working to prepare for an even more superb new school year, which begins in just one short month.

Our Community’s Mechanchim more than deserve to have the peace of mind of being able to pay for food, shelter and other ongoing expenses. At this point we are behind two paytrolls – a total of $84,000! It is our communal responsibility to see to it that they get paid during this financially difficult period when fewer school tuition fees are due over the summer months. To that end, Avraham Hayman, a longtime supporter of the Cheder in particular and our Kehillah in general, has offered a matching grant to raise the necessary funds to pay our devoted teachers.

 Every dollar that you pledge between $100 & $999 between Wednesday, August 2nd and Monday, August 7th will be matched by Mr. Hayman – YOUR $100 BECOMES $200, YOUR $500 BECOMES $1,000!!

Additionally, Mr. Hayman will also add $500 to each donation of $1,000 or more – YOUR $1,000 BECOMES $2,500!!!

All pledges must be paid by August 23rd, (Rosh Chodesh Elul), to be eligible for matching.

On behalf of the Rebbe’s and Morah’s I want to thank those of you who have already participated and strongly encourage everyone to partner with us in supporting them. It is our opportunity to show hakaras hatov to the very special individuals who are helping us to raise the next generation to Torah, Yiras Shomayim and Chassidishkeit.

You can contribute by mailing the Cheder your check to Cheder Chabad of Monsey, PO Box 1164, Monsey, NY  10952; donating online at https://chedermonseyorg.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/2950066/lang/en, or by calling the Cheder with your credit card information at (845) 356-1213 x202.  Please indicate that your participation is for the “5777 Summer Matching Program" campaign.

Please act now – as time is running out! Contact the Cheder Office or any of our board members with your pledge as soon as possible.

Rabbi Yeruchem Cohen, President
Cheder Chabad Board of Directors

Parshas Va'eschanan Schedule for Tzemach Tzedek

The following is the Tzemach Tzedek schedule for Shabbos Nachamu Parshas Va'eschanan:

Friday - ערב ש"ק


Licht Bentchen                                                                                       7:50pm

Minchah Erev Shabbos                                                                          8:00pm

Kabbolas Shabbos                                                                                 8:40pm

שבת קודש

Rov's Chassidus Shiur                                                                           9:00am

Sof Zman Krias Shma                                                                            9:29am

Shacharis                                                                                             10:00am  

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

Ladies' Pirkei Avos Shiur                                                                        5:45pm

Rov's Halachah Shiur                                                                             7:00pm

Minchah                                                                                                  7:50pm

Motzoei Shabbos/Maariv                                                                        8:54pm  

א גוטען שבת

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated in memory of Elka bas Zisel OBM

Dedicated in memory of Leah bas Rochel OBM

"Don't get me wrong Rabbi, I know that Judaism is important and all, but I just don't have the time. And I can't afford it. And I don't want to look hypocritical. Besides, my parents were good people and they didn't see the need to go so over the top. And also I did business once with a religious person and he robbed me blind."

Fact or fiction, explanation or excuse, who among us hasn't trotted out some justification or other to rationalize our inability or unwillingness to do more?

In theory we all wish to be good Jews with more of the same for our children. In practice, for many of us, most of the time, the price of commitment is just too high. People are creatures of habit, we tend to fall into a rut and it would take the proverbial crowbar to pry us out of our pattern.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not just having a go at the non-observant; rabbis and orthodox folks are not exempt. Even an orthodox Jew, who keeps Judaism out of the habit of his upbringing, should also subject his observances to self-analysis, to truly appreciate and grow in his Judaism.

The Law of Inertia states that "objects at rest tend to stay at rest and objects in motion tend to stay in motion." Humans are the same; it is the rare individual who has the vision and courage to voluntarily make wholesale changes to his lifestyle. Those exceptional examples, the seekers and the searchers among us, blaze a bright trail on their journey through life, while we lesser mortals scurry around in their shadow, vainly eking out a humdrum existence.

Unfortunately, for many people, only when faced with hardships or tragedy do they examine their existence. At times of maximum vulnerability, people tend to gravitate to the sanctuary of their faith, hoping to ride out the hard times under Judaism's shelter. This time of crisis becomes the impetus for a rapprochement with their G‑d.

In this week's Torah portion Va’eschanan (Devarim (Deuteronomy) 3:23-7:11) we read the first paragraph of the Shema, the basis credo of Jewish belief: "Hear O Israel, the L-rd, Our G‑d, the L-rd is one." The verses continue to describe our love for G‑d and some of the basic commandments. Twice a day, "night and morning," we are instructed to reaffirm that commitment. This obligation is fulfilled by the recitation of the Shema.

Perhaps one can present an alternative explanation for this verse, as well. The love of G‑d is the basis of our faith; as a feeling of connection to one's Creator, it drives one to live up to His religious expectations. This connection must be a constant, both during the blackness of night, when all is dark and turning to G‑d for succor comes naturally, and under the bright lights of daytime when the average man feels no need of reassurance.

Connecting to G‑d during the hard times comes easily, but how many have the intelligence to hop off the gravy train while the good times still roll? Don't wait for the cold shower of tragedy to shock you into conformity, the verse advises; reconnect to G‑d now, consciously, during the good times and take pleasure in choosing and appreciating your path, not under duress, but because it is the right thing to do.

(Excerpts from Chabad.org - by Rabbi Elisha Greenbaum)

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