Friday, January 7
- 06:50 am – Shacharit
- 04:05 pm – Mincha
- 04:09 pm – Candle Lighting
Saturday, January 8
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- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:32 am – Latest Time for Kriat Shema
- 11:30 am – Kiddush
- 03:45 pm – Mincha
- 04:15 pm – Se’udah Shlishit
- 05:05 pm – Ma’ariv
- 05:19 pm – Shabbat Ends
Week of January 9 – 14
- 08:00 am – Sunday
- 06:40 am – Monday and Thursday
- 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
- 04:15 pm – Sunday – Thursday
- 04:15 pm – Friday
- 04:45 pm – Sunday – Thursday
Weekly Words of Torah
Focusing on the Future
Insights into Parshat Bo by Mr. Marc Poleyef of Yeshiva Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
Parshat Bo transitions from the ten Makot (plagues) to the eventual redemption of the Jewish people from Mitzrayim (Egypt). The Torah tells us in Shemot 10:22 that a severe darkness set on all of Mitzrayim for three days. Rashi discusses the purpose of these (really six) days of darkness. He explains that the darkness was necessary for Hashem to kill those Jews who were Reshaim (villains) and did not deserve to be freed from Mitzrayim; Hashem did not want the Mitzrim (Egyptians) to see them dying and then not feel so bad that they too were being attacked.
It seems, however, that the entire nation was not worthy of being redeemed. The Malachim (angels) complained to Hashem that the Jews were also idol worshippers and did not deserve to be redeemed. Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky explains that Hashem recognized that in just over seven weeks the Jewish people would be standing at the foot of Har Sinai accepting the Torah. The Malachim did not understand that there was something much deeper going on, that even though right now the Jews were on such a low level, soon they would return to Hashem and follow in His ways. So why were some Jews killed? He goes on to explain that these Reshaim knew that Hashem would redeem His people after 400 years. When it seemed that they would be redeemed earlier than that they were not believers and thus were killed. We clearly see that one of the Midot of Hashem is the ability to evaluate the current situation based on what will occur in the future. How can we apply this Midah to our lives?
In his intro to this week’s Parsha, Rabeinu Bichayei discusses the essence of what it means to harden one’s heart. In Mishlei 28:14 Shlomo HaMelech teaches us that praiseworthy is the one who is constantly fearful but one who hardens his heart will fall. Rabeinu Bichayei explains that one who is always fearful is one who takes account of his standing and examines his deeds. This individual understands the ramifications of his actions and thus avoids future punishment by doing Hashem’s will. The complete opposite to this would be one who hardens his heart. He has no desire to look into the future to see what could potentially result from his decisions. As stated in Tehillim 36:2 this person has no fear. Rabeinu Bichayei presents Paroh as the paradigm of hardening one’s heart. After each of the first five Makot he hardened his heart and did not heed to Moshe’s request.
We can learn a great lesson from Hashem’s “vision” in Makat Choshech and Paroh’s hardening of his heart: we must be willing to avoid short-sightedness and focus on the future. In order to succeed in Avodat Hashem we must follow Hashem’s ways by always being scrupulous with our actions, thus avoiding any potential punishment. With this in mind, hopefully the Geulah of next week’s Parsha will actualize very shortly.