Friday, May 25, 2018

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

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe”. (Albert Einstein)

In the holy city of Safed, next to the old cemetery, sits a humble structure, known as the “Arizal’smikvah.” The small building houses a ritual bath which, according to tradition, was used by the master kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria (1534–1572, known as the “Arizal”), who would immerse himself in its waters before praying and studying.

This particular mikvah (ritual pool) is actually an underground stream; its waters are ice cold. But considering this  mikvah’s illustrious history, many consider it a special privilege to brave the cold. In fact, tradition has it that anyone who dips in its waters will certainly repent before passing on.

So, the story is told of a father who takes his son before his bar mitzvah to dip in the frigid waters. The son enters the water and screams, “Oy! This is cold.”

He quickly immerses and jumps out, straight into the warm towel his father is holding in his extended hands. “Aaaah!” said the boy, “this feels good!”

Said the father to his about-to-become-a-man son: “May this be a lesson for the rest of your life. Whenever you do something, and the ‘ay’ comes before the ‘ah,’ you know that it is a good thing that you’ve done. When the ‘ah,’ however, comes before the ‘ay,’ then you know that you have done something wrong. . .”

This story comes to mind when reading this week‘s Torah Portion of Nasso (Bamidbor (Numbers) 4:21-7:89), in the section there  (5:12-31) that discusses the woman suspected of having been unfaithful to her husband—thesotah. The word the Torah chooses (5:12) to describe her alleged disloyalty is tisteh, [a woman who has] “gone astray.”

Tisteh can also translate as “becomes foolish.” Hence the Talmudic axiom: “A person does not sin unless overcome by a spirit of folly.”

Sin is foolish. We all know it. No one ever feels good after a sin but no one feels bad after doing amitzvah!

But we sin anyway. Then we feel guilty, even stupid, knowing the valueless outcome and result of it. But then we sin again, then we go to the synagogue on Yom Kippur and promise to better ourselves. Then we fall prey again to our lusts.

Until Moshiach comes, when evil will be eradicated from the world for good, we will continue to be tempted by our evil inclination. Just another reason to ask G‑d to send Moshiach NOW !.

But maybe, just maybe, if we take the story of the mikvah to heart, and next time we are about to say “ah” before the “oy,” we think ahead—we might refrain from temptation that one more  time. Or, as our sages succinctly put it: “Who is a wise one? One who foresees the outcome [of his actions].”

That is a very big deal. Especially this week as we have again just re-experienced the “Giving of the Torah” with the holiday of Shavuos, it would do us well to remember and know that we have the ability to appreciate the true “ah”s  of Torah and live Judaism to the fullest.

(Excerpts from   - by  Rabbi Levi Avtzon)

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

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mazel Tov to Rabbi & Rebbetzin Lesches!

Mazel tov to our dear Rov and Rebbetzin upon the engagement of their granddaughter Baila (bas R' Choni) Lesches to Meir Chaim Brikman of Crown Heights.

L'Chaim: Tonight (Tues.) at the Jewish Children's Museum

792 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Week of Parshas נשא davening schedule - starting 8 Sivan / May 22nd

Week of Parshas  נשא starting 8 Sivan / May 22nd
שחרית                                     Tues. thru Fri. 6:48, 7:00*, 8:00, 9:30am
מנחה                                                Tues. thru Thurs. 7:00, 8:05 pm
מעריב                                                 Tues. thru Thurs.  8:50, 9:30pm

Friday, May 18, 2018

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

This week's Torah reading begins the book of Bamidbor ([Numbers] 1:1-4:20), which the Midrash calls the Sefer HaPikudim (Book of Numbers), and indeed this portion is filled with numbers. First a census is taken of the Israelites, and the Torah supplies us with the number of Israelites in each tribe, in each of the four "flags," and then gives the grand totals. The Levites are then counted -- twice. The firstborns earn their very own headcount, too.

Interestingly, this Torah portion ofBamidbor is always read shortly before the holiday of Shvuos, the holiday of our receiving the Torah. This year, it is being read the eve of the holiday of Shvuos.

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 Shvuos 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 Shvuos 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 - from Rabbi Naftali Silberberg)

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

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

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Shavuos 5778 schedule

 Shavuos 5778 Schedule

מעריב1st Night YomTov                                                  9:01pm
תיקון ליל שבועות  - please join us!

Alos HaShachar                                                           3:51/4:21am
 משיכיר (earliest Shma)                                                       4:35am
Latest Shma                                                                9:13:27am
שחרית 1st Day                                                          לערך 10:00am
Aseres HaDibros                                                    approx.11:30am
מנחה 1st Day                                                                         8:05pm

מעריב (and Licht Bentchen) 2nd Night                              9:01pm
שחרית 2nd Day                                                                   10:00am
Latest Shma                                                                  9:13:04am
Yizkorיזכור                                                      approx. 11:30am
מנחה 2nd Day                                                                      7:45pm
Followed by SEDER NIGUNIM and דא"ח חזרת 
מוצאי יו"ט                                                                             9:02pm
בברכת א גוט יו"ט. קבלת התורה בשמחה ובפנימיות 

Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar Schedule

Schedule for פ' במדבר ה'תשע"ח שבת

Licht Bentchen                                                                    7:52pm
מנחה Erev Shabbos                                                              8:02pm
 קבלת שבת                                                                              8:40pm
No Kiddush between 6:53-7:53pm (7:00-8:00pm)

שבת קודש

Rov’s Chassidus Shiur                                                   9:00am
Sof Zman Krias Shma סוזק"ש                                  9:13:51am
שחרית                                                                                 10:00am
Z'man Mincha Gedola                                                       1:30pm
Ladies’ Pirkei Avos Shiur                                                   5:45pm
Rov’s הלכה Shiur                                                                 7:00pm
מנחה                                                (פרקי אבות פרק ו')          7:50pm
Licht Bentshen 1st night                                                9:01pm

א גוטען שבת

Friday, May 11, 2018

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

Among the many laws of social conduct, the Torah includes guidelines on the treatment of indentured servants. A pattern that emerges from these instructions is to place great importance on preserving the respect and dignity of the worker.

One of the laws regulating the treatment of such servants is detailed in this week’s double Torah reading – B’Har-B’Chukosai  (Vayikra[Leviticus] 25:1-27:34, particularly 25:43) it says: “Do not subjugate him with hard labor.” In defining “hard labor,” the commentator Rashiexplains, quoting the Talmud, that the employer is not permitted to say to his servant, “Warm up this cup for me” when he (the master) does not really need it. Even if the servant is unaware that the drink is not needed, it is still considered an instruction which is demeaning and disrespectful.

But isn’t this a little extreme? It is perfectly legitimate for a servant to make his master a cup of tea. Why, then, if unbeknownst to the worker the employer doesn’t really want the cup, is it considered such an insult and an affront to his dignity?

The answer is linked to the very purpose and definition of generous, moral and ethical behavior. Often we feel that we have a license to behave as we wish, as long as we don’t hurt anyone else. But this is a great error, because the purpose and benefit of appropriate behavior is as much for us as it is for others. We have a responsibility not only to help others and protect their dignity, but also to ensure that we refine and develop a sensitive, compassionate and respectful identity for ourselves. When we ask a worker to do a senseless task, he might not be hurt—but we will damage our own character. It will plant seeds of insensitivity and cruelty within our own personality.

Being careful how we treat others helps them and also strengthens ourselves, making us better and more refined Jews and human beings.

(Excerpts from – by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie)

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

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Davening Schedule for the week of Parshas בה"ב

Week of Parshas בה"ב starting 21  Iyar / May 6th
שחרית                                                           Sunday  8:00, 9:00, 10:00am
                                              Mon., thru Fri. 6:48, 7:00*, 8:00, 9:30am
מנחה                                                Sun. thru Thurs. 7:00, 7:45 pm
מעריב                                                                            8:35, 9:30pm

Friday, May 4, 2018

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

I was planning to procrastinate, but I never got around to it.

Whether you consider the above quotation wise, witty or silly, it can actually be quite a sobering thought. How many of us can truly say we don't put off important things we know we should have done yesterday? Don't you just go green with envy when you meet those super-efficient amazons who are so punctual, organized and always put together? Don't they infuriate you…with yourself?

You might be surprised to learn that effective time management is not only a professional value but also a religious imperative.

This week's Torah portion Emor(Vayikra [Leviticus] 21:1-24:23) details the Jewish Festivals, in the context of which we read about the Counting of the Omer during the 49 days between Passoverand Shavuot. Just as the Israelitescounted the days after the Exodus in eager anticipation to receive theTorah, so do we count these 49 days annually.

But why count time? Time marches on inexorably, whether we take note of it or not. What value is there in counting the days? The answer is that we count these 49 days to make us conscious of the preciousness of every single day. To make us more sensitive to the value of a day, an hour, a moment. As Rabbi Sholom DovBer of Lubavitch once said, "A summer's day and a winter's night is a year."

There is  a classic analogy on this theme in the name of the saintly Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan (1838-1933). Life is like a picture postcard, he said. We start writing with a large scrawl and then think of new things to say and before we know it we're at the end of the card and there's no more room. So what do we do? We start writing smaller and then when we're out of space we start winding our words around the edges of the card to get it all in. Before we know it, we're turning the card upside down to squeeze in the last few vital words in our message.

Isn't life like that? We start off young and reckless without a worry in the world and as we get older we realize that life is short. So we start cramming and trying to squeeze in all those important things we never got around to. Sometimes our attempts are quite desperate, even pathetic, as we seek to put some meaning into our lives before it's too late. (Maybe that's what a mid-life crisis is all about.)

So the Torah tells us to count our days – because they are, in fact, numbered. We each have an allotted number of days and years in which to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. Hopefully, by counting time we will appreciate it better. So, whatever it is that is important for each of us to get done, please G‑d, we will all get around to it.

 (Excerpts from - from Rabbi Yossy Goldman)

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Shabbos פרשת אמור Schedule

Friday – ערש"ק
Licht Bentchen                                                                          7:38pm
מנחה Erev Shabbos                                                                    7:48pm
Kabbolas Shabbos                                                                    8:25pm
No Kiddush between 6:53-7:53pm (7:00-8:00pm)

שבת קודש
Rov’s Chassidus Shiur                                                               9:00am
Sof Zman Krias Shma                                                         9:21:13am
שחרית                                                                                       10:00am

Kiddush Farbrengen following Davening

Mincha Gedola                                                                          1:29pm
Ladies’ Pirkei Avos Shiur                                                           5:30pm
Rov’s הלכה shiur                                                                         6:45pm
מנחה  (Pirkei Avos פרק ד')                                                           7:40pm
Motzoei Shabbos /מעריב                                                             8:44pm

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Monsey Beis Chaya Mushka High School Dinner This Tuesday! (May 8th)

Dear Community Member 'שי,

 We are proud to invite you to participate in the 12th annual dinner of MBCM, which will take place IY"H on Tuesday May 8th, כ"ג אייר, at the Valley Terrace Hall. MBCM, as you know, is our community girls high school, started over 12 years ago, with the vision of providing a local quality Chabad girls high school education for the growing Monsey community and its close neighbor, Morristown.

Today, this this investment has certainly been validated. The growth and expansion of the Greater Monsey community is beyond all expectations. This year's student body numbers 95 קע"ה, with projected larger numbers for next year of over 100 אי"ה. . At this year's dinner we are fortunate to feature one of the Jewish world's most renowned speaker and lecturer, Rabbi Shais Taub.

 We are proud to honor two families who over the years have contributed to the Monsey community and all of its Mosdos, Eliyahu and Bracha Meschaninov and Moshe and Yehudis Chana Meschaninov, long time members of Tzemach Tzedek. What better time to enable our further growth, and show your support for community's high school? By participating in our dinner or ad journal you are supporting an all-round successful, growing Mosad. This dinner, our main fundraiser of the year, is a chance to do just that.

 Please join us at the dinner; Put an ad in our journal in honor of our dear honorees, a special person, time or event; or the teachers and hanhala of MBCM. Encourage others to come. All details can be found on our website – .

 Looking forward to your participation Rabbi Chaim D. Kagan, Menahel