Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Wonderful Torah Learning Opportunity!

To all Monsey Ana"sh Sheyichyu:

A wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in learning at night there is a Talmud Chacham available for Chavrusa Type Learning to learn Gemara and give you understanding and enjoyment in learning it. Including Tosfos, Mefarshim - Rishonim and Acharonim - and Chassidus - with a Geshmak!

Contact Rabbi Werner at 845-356-3850 or email jreisner2@gmail.com

Automobile Wanted

I am seeking used automobile in good to excellent condition at a reasonable price. I prefer a compact to mid-size sedan. The price should be commensurate with blue book values for sale from a private individual to a private individual, preferably in the 5k to 10k range. The car must be in reliable mechanical condition and must be available for inspection by my mechanic, located in Spring Valley (Rockland County), New York.

Please e-mail me at jshandl@outlook.com or call 845-352-1645 or text 914-393-7288 if you have a vehicle or know of a vehicle for sale meeting the above conditions.

 Joseph Shandling

Week of Parshas עקב (starting July 29th)

Mincha 7:00 & 8:00
Maariv 8:50 & 9:30

Farbrengen Tuesday Night after the 8:50 Maariv לכבוד כ"ף אב

Friday, July 27, 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

Judaism's most famous prayer comes from this week’s Torah portionVa’Eschanan – Devorim (Deuteronomy) 3:23-7:11) . Shma Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad. "Hear O Israel, G-d is our G-d, G-d is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4). "And you shall love the L-rd your G-d," the verse continues, “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your me’od."

Rashi, the great Biblical commentator, explains this last phrase based on the Talmud-- "with all your me’od" -- to mean "with all your resources," i.e. your money. This, of course begs the question: if we have already been commanded to love G-d "with all your soul" -- which the commentaries understand to mean that we should be prepared to give our very life for G-d-- then why the rather mundane command about money? Surely, if we are prepared to give our life for G-d, then sharing our money is a small thing to ask?

Rashi explains that in fact there are individuals who value their money more than their lives. Such people need to be told to love G-d with all their money.

So the Torah insists that we must love G-d with all our heart, soul, life and resources -- whatever it is that we value and cherish most, we should be prepared to dedicate in love to G-d.

One finds a similar concept at Pidyon Haben ("Redemption of the First Born") ceremonies, where a very strange dialogue transpires between the father and the Kohen. By Torah law, every first born belongs to G-d, or to G-d's designated representative, the Kohen. The Kohen therefore asks the father of the newborn child, "Which do you prefer: your first born son, or the five silver shekels you are obligated to give me for his redemption?"

Now what kind of absurd question is that? Is this "The Money or the Box"? Which normal father is going to give away his son when he can keep him for the small price of five silver coins? No one is waiting in breathless suspense for the father's answer.

In truth, however, it is a very serious question. The Kohen asks the father of this child: In your newborn son's future life, what will be of primary significance? Will it be the child or the shekel? Will you place high importance on finance or on family time? Will you raise this child with an emphasis on materialism or on more meaningful things? This is really a very important question after all -- one which parents need to consider soberly before responding to.

How many workaholics do we know who are so busy making a living that they forget to live. Remember, no one was ever heard lamenting on their deathbed, "Oy, if only I'd spent more time at the office!"

So the Shma reminds us that whatever our core values may be, they should be directed to G-d and His service.

Even for those who aren't overly thrifty, money is an issue. The reality is that it's not cheap to be Jewish, certainly not to live Jewishly. Whether it's the higher price of kosher food and Jewish schooling, or the additional expenses of preparing for Passover, building a Sukkah, or acquiring tefillin and mezuzahs, all these things require a commitment from us financially. When we make that commitment with love and don't complain about the high cost of being Jewish, then we are observing the mitzvah of loving G-d with all our "me’od" -- our money and resources.

But don't worry. G-d loves us too.

(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, July 20, 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

What does it mean to be visionary, to have a vision for your life and pursuits?

In a basic sense, this means conceptualizing goals and objectives; it means considering future potential and focusing on a target for growth. It means recognizing that “now” isn’t all that there is.

“Now”- disconnected from the future and its possibilities - can be stale and aimless.

“Now” is our reality; but vision can breathe commitment, animation and hope into that reality.Vision brings optimism and direction; it is the North Star which guides the efforts that actually bring our dream to life.

The problem is that with the passage of time it often becomes more difficult for the realistic person to continue dreaming. Disappointments eventually take their toll on the human psyche.

Which raises the question: When does one learn to adjust one’s expectations and recognize that, that dreams are. . . just dreams?


While we should always be acutely aware of reality, warts and all, we can never stop believing in - and working toward - a brighter future.

Consider this: Our Holy Temple, along with our entire Jewish commonwealth, was destroyed by the Romans almost two thousand years ago.

It’s been rough ever since, and we’re fully aware of our reality. Every year, on Tisha B’Av, the 9th of Av, our national day of mourning, (this year, observed on Sunday, July 22) we remember the destruction of our two Temples, the dispersion of our people and recognize the pain of our own times.

Yet, interestingly, the preceding Shabbat (Shabbos, July 21) is always observed as the “Shabbat of Vision.” The Shabbat’s reading from the Prophets begins (with the opening chapter of the book of Isaiah) with the words Chazon Yeshayahu, the “Vision of Isaiah” regarding the destruction of the Holy Temple.

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, the eighteenth-century legendary Chassidic master, taught a deeper reason for this moniker “Shabbat of Vision.” Every year, he explained, on the Shabbat before  this collective day of mourning, Gd shows us a Vision of the Future. We are shown a vision of a rebuilt Temple, a reconstituted people and a better world.

Gd equips us for the mourning by ensuring that hope—the Vision—never dies; this Shabbat ensures that our sobering recognition of “now” doesn’t smother our hope for the future.

We can’t see this divinely granted vision with our physical eyes; but if Gd is showing it to us, it must be       resonating somewhere within us,  in our souls.

So this Shabbos I will prepare to tackle reality on Tisha B’Av by first searching myself to find Gd’s vision of a beautiful future.

Will you join me?

(Excerpts from Chabad.org by Rabbi Mendy Herson)

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, July 13, 2018

Sunday Morning Special Shiur

Shabbos פ' מטות-מסעי schedule

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

A fellow was boasting about what a good citizen he was and what a refined, disciplined lifestyle he led. "I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't gamble,  I am early to bed and early to rise, and I work hard all day and attend religious services faithfully." Very impressive, right? Then he added, "I've been like this for the last five years, but just you wait until they let me out of this place!"

Although prisons were not really part of the Jewish judicial system, there were occasions when individuals would have their freedom of movement curtailed. One such example was the City of Refuge, discussed in this week's Torah portion, Parshah Matos-Massei (Bamidbor [Numbers] 30:2-36:13).  If a person was guilty of manslaughter (i.e., unintentional murder) the perpetrator would flee to one of the specially designated Cities of Refuge throughout Biblical Israel where he was given safe haven from the wrath of a would-be avenging relative of the victim.

The Torah tells us that his term of exile would end with the death of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest. The Talmud tells of an interesting practice that developed. The mother of the Kohen Gadol at the time would make a point of bringing gifts of food to those exiled so that they should not pray for the early demise of her son, to which their own freedom was linked.

Now this is very strange. Here is a man who, though not a murderer, is not entirely innocent of any negligence either. The rabbis teach that G-d does not allow misfortune to befall the righteous. If this person caused a loss of life, we can safely assume that he is less than righteous. Opposite him stands the High Priest of Israel, noble, aristocratic and, arguably, the holiest Jew alive. Of the entire nation, he alone had the awesome responsibility and privilege of entering the inner sanctum of the Holy Temple, the "Holy of Holies," on the holy day of Yom Kippur. Do we really have reason to fear that the prayers of this morally tainted prisoner will have such a negative effect on the revered and exalted High Priest, to the extent that the Kohen Gadol may die? And his poor mother has to go and shlep food parcels to these distant refuge  cities to soften up the prisoner so he should go easy in his prayers so that her holy son may live? Does this make sense?

But such is the power of prayer--the prayer of any individual, noble or ordinary, righteous or even sinful.

Of course, there are no guarantees. Otherwise synagogues around the world would be overflowing daily. But we do believe fervently in the power of prayer. And though, ideally, we pray in Hebrew and with a congregation, the most important ingredient for our prayers to be successful is sincerity. "G-d wants the heart," say the sages. The language and the setting are secondary to the genuineness of our prayers. Nothing can be more genuine than a tear shed in prayer.

By all means, learn the language of our Siddur, the prayer book. Improve your Hebrew reading so you can follow the services and daven with fluency. But remember, most important of all is our sincerity. May all our prayers be answered.

(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, July 6, 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 portion, Pinchas (Bamidbor [Numbers] 25:10-30:1) begins with the reward which Pinchas received for his act of bravery—meting out punishment to Zimri ben Salu who was openly contemptuous of Moses and was cohabiting with a Midianite woman. Zimri was the chieftain of the Tribe of Shimon, who were staunchly loyal to their leader. Thus Pinchas's act was fraught with danger. The Talmud speaks of the various miracles which occurred on that day which allowed Pinchas to emerge unscathed from Zimri's tent.

Pinchas’s act wasn't too rational. He was the proverbial man in Tiananmen Square standing in front of the approaching column of tanks. His chances of success were minimal, but he was merely following the example of the very first Jew. Abraham was a young man in Ur, living amongst a pagan society, when he started preaching a philosophy of monotheism. 

The dictatorial tyrant Nimrod was decidedly displeased with the nuisance Abraham was creating. In fact, Abraham was called the "Ivri" (Hebrew), which means "from the other side," because the entire world was on one side while he, with his monotheistic beliefs, was on the other side. But Abraham didn't flinch because he knew that he was doing the right thing.

The story of Abraham and Pinchas has repeated itself like a broken record throughout our difficult but glorious history. Our nation would not exist today if not for the many heroic, odds-defying acts performed by courageous individuals and groups. Two examples: The holiday of Chanukah celebrates the bravery of a small group of people who refused to reconcile themselves with the spiritual pollution of Hellenism and battled a Greek army which was many times larger and stronger than they.

As well, this week's Torah portion always falls in proximity to the 12th-13th of Tammuz (this year –this past 26th-27th of June), the day when Chabad Chassidim celebrate the miraculous release of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the sixth Chabad Rebbe, OBM, from Stalinist-communist prison in 1927. This happened after he was sentenced to be executed by a firing squad. At a time when teaching Torah meant almost certain death or Siberian slave labor, the Rebbe did not despair. He defied the Soviet regime, and encouraged his followers to do the same. He established underground yeshivas, mikvahs, kosher slaughter-houses, etc., and he personally oversaw and arranged for the financing of this underground network of Jewish defiance.
The end result of all these stories was victory. Abraham's opponents are relegated to the annals of history, whereas millions of his descendants still follow the path which he paved. 

[Actually, his legacy includes not only the Jews, but also most of the population of the world today that follow religions which are ostensibly monotheistic – and all of them find their roots in Abraham.] Pinchas was rewarded for his deed, and to this very day his offspring serve asKohanim (priests) who bless the Jewish people and will resume their service in the Holy Temple with the coming of the Moshiach. The Greeks were banished from the Holy Land; Torah-true Judaism continued to flourish; and we were given another few days every year to celebrate, eat, and be merry… Jewish education continued behind the Iron Curtain until the day when it was shattered. They are gone, and the Torah is still here and there in Russia.

Even when the odds are against us, we must put up a fight for that which is right. We must do what is incumbent upon us, and G‑d will take care of the rest.

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

May you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos!