Friday, December 31
- 08:00 am – Shacharit (New Year’s observed)
- 04:00 pm – Mincha
- 04:03 pm – Candle Lighting
- 08:00 pm – Men’s Class in Derech Hashem
Saturday, January 1
This week’s kiddush is sponsored Anonymously to give thanks to Hashem.
Se’udah Shlishit Sponsorship
This week’s se’udah shlishit is sponsored by Josh Vogel in honor of his siyum on masechet Shavuot.
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:30 am – Latest Time for Kriat Shema
- The molad for the month of Sh’vat will be on Tuesday at 10:32 pm and 5 chalakim, Jerusalem time
- 11:30 am – Kiddush
- 03:40 pm – Mincha
- 04:10 pm – Se’udah Shlishit
- 05:00 pm – Ma’ariv
- 05:12 pm – Shabbat Ends
Week of January 2 – 7
- 08:00 am – Sunday
- 06:40 am – Monday and Thursday
- 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
- 04:10 pm – Sunday – Thursday
- 04:05 pm – Friday
- 04:40 pm – Sunday – Thursday
Weekly Words of Torah
Take A Moment
Insights into Parshat Va’era by Mr. Chanan Freilich of Yeshiva Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
In the beginning of the Parsha, when Hashem reassured Moshe and told him to repeat His message to the Bnei Yisrael, the Pasuk said that they wouldn’t listen Mikotzer Ruach U’meavoda Kasha, from the shortness of wind (spirit) and the hard work. The following is one explanation that is relevant to us all.
The Ramchal in Mesilat Yesharim says that the point of the Middah (trait) of Zehirut (expedience) is to constantly be thinking about all of his actions and make sure that they are proper. He says that one of the main tactics of the Yetzer Hara (Evil Inclination) to derail us from the path of Zehirut is that he makes sure that we have no free time to think. When we are doing something which is clearly wrong, the reason why we often do it is because we don’t even realize it is wrong. Falling into bad habits can ensure that a person will remain an unthinking robot for his whole life. If the robot gets one glitch, he himself isn’t going to be able to fix it; somebody else needs to do that. However, when a human being does something wrong and wants to change that, he will have the ability to do that once he devotes time to figuring out his situation. The Ramchal says that this is exactly what Pharoh tried to prevent when he said, “Tichbad Ha’avodah Al Ha’anashim V’ya’asu Bah Vi’al Yishu B’divrei Shaker” (Increase the workload on the Jewish men, and they won’t engage in false matters)- he made our workload even harder in order so that we shouldn’t turn to thoughts about having a vacation or going off to the desert. What is the connection between the two? The connection is that if they don’t have time to think, they also won’t have time to plan revolutions or similar schemes.
This can be what the Torah was alluding to by us. When Hashem first appointed Moshe to take the Bnei Yisrael out of Mitzrayim, Moshe said “Vi’hen Lo Ya’aminu Li Vilo Yishmiu Bikoli Ki Yomru Lo Nirah Eilecha Hashem” (And they won’t believe me and won’t listen to my voice, because they will say, Hashem did not speak with you’.). In Parshat Va’era, the Torah says “Vi’lo Sham’u El Moshe” (and they did not listen to Moses). Moshe originally thought that the Bnei Yisrael wouldn’t listen to him because they wouldn’t believe him or that Hashem appeared to him and wouldn’t know where he was coming from. That is not what is stated here. It just says Vilo Sham’u, without any previous or following phrase saying that they didn’t agree to what he had to say. It is very possible to explain that this Pasuk is telling us that it wasn’t just that the Bnei Yisrael didn’t agree with Moshe; they didn’t even hear him. When he came back to them after speaking with Pharoh, it shouldn’t have been that foreign to them, for he had previously spoken to them and the Torah says Vaye’amen Ha’am, they believed Moshe. This time, once the workload got heavier and they no longer had time to think, they couldn’t even hear what Moshe had to say, which is exactly what Pharoh had planned.
Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky explains a different pshat (explanation) on this pasuk that ties in well with this idea. The Midrash says that every Shabbat, the Bnei Yisrael would read from Megillot (scrolls) which told stories of redemption and hope. He says that these Megillot were actually the stories of Iyov (the Book of Job) and the Pirkei Tehillim (verses of Psalms) in which Moshe wrote about the future geulah. Every Shabbat, the Bnei Yisrael would read these messages of hope, and they would be able to make it through another week. However, after Moshe went to speak with Pharoh and Pharoh made their workload heavier, he actually made them work on Shabbat, which had not made them do previously. Now, their one shining ray of hope, their one spark and glimpse of what the future could be, was extinguished. When Moshe came back to them and told them that their redemption was imminent, they were no longer to even fathom such a concept, for they simply did not have the time to be mechazek (strengthen) their emunah (faith). Any idea which was outside of what was right in front of them would be deemed foreign. That is exactly what is meant by Vilo Sham’u El Moshe Mikotzer Ruach U’meavoda Kasha.
We see from here the supreme importance of having time to think, of having time to ponder your future and your dreams. Our society has made it so hard to have a free minute, for we can be reached at a moment’s notice. A piece of advice which can be gleaned from the Parsha is that it is healthy and necessary for a person to take some time just for himself, maybe even on Shabbat as Rav Yaakov pointed out, and to think about what your goals are, whether or not you are doing the right thing in every aspect of life, and to ultimately have hope for a future geulah.