Friday, September 16
- 06:50 am – Shacharit
- 06:30 pm – Mincha
- 06:34 pm – Candle Lighting
Saturday, September 17
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:32 am – Latest Time for Kriat Shema
- 10:30 am – Junior Congregation
- 11:15 am – Kiddush
- 04:00 pm – Ladies’ Class in Brachot at the home of Rabbi and Rebbetzin Rabinowitz, 265 Fellsway East
- 05:30 pm – Men’s Class in Derech Hashem
- 06:05 pm – Mincha
- 06:35 pm – Se’udah Shlishit
- 07:30 pm – Ma’ariv
- 07:41 pm – Shabbat Ends
Week of September 18 – 23
- 08:00 am – Sunday
- 06:40 am – Monday and Thursday
- 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
- 06:30 pm – Sunday – Thursday
- 06:20 pm – Friday
- 07:00 pm – Sunday – Thursday
To print this schedule, click here to go directly to the post, and then press ctrl-P (Windows) or cmd-P (Mac) to print it.
Weekly Words of Torah
With the Klal
Insights into Parshat Ki Tavo of Mr. Ari Gordon of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, predicated upon the thoughts of Rabbi Daniel Fine, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
It is no coincidence that Parshat Ki Tavo falls out during the month of Elul when every Jew is preparing for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The Gemara in Megilla says that Ki Tavo is read specifically before Rosh Hashana so that “the curses of the year should be over,” of course referring the curses mentioned in the Parsha reserved for those who don’t follow the ways of Hashem. Not only is this a symbolic practice, but also just hearing aloud the terrible results of sinning against Hashem will help us stop ourselves from sinning in the future. However, this is not the only connection between Parshat Ki Tavo and Rosh Hashana.
In this week’s Parsha, The Jewish people officially accept the blessings and curses that Hashem will bestow upon them depending on their behavior. Rashi adds that in addition, they also accepted the concept of “Arevut,” which is an agreement between the Jewish People to always facilitate each other’s spiritual growth and maintain the widespread practice of Judaism. Essentially, every Jew became responsible for every other Jew. For example, when a man comes home on Friday night after hearing Kiddush in Shul, he can then make Kiddush for his family. How is it that he can make a Bracha on Kiddush if he was already exempt from hearing it in Shul? He’s taking Hashem’s name in vain! He is allowed because of Arevut. If his wife did not yet fulfill the Mitzvah of Kiddush, then it’s as if he himself did not yet fulfill it. The idea of Arevut is that every jew is part of the same body and is therefor responsible for every other Jew’s spiritual state.
Rosh Hashana also shares this theme of being part of a community larger than ourselves: the entire Jewish people. As a general rule, one is not allowed to make requests of Hashem in either the first or last three blessings of the Shemoneh Esrei, as they are dedicated solely to praising Hashem. The period of time from Rosh Hashana to Yom Kippur is the exception, when we insert special supplications for being “remembered for life” and “written in the book of life.” How is it that we can go against this rule? Because these requests are on behalf of the entire Jewish people.
Another occurrence of this theme of community in relation to Rosh Hashana can be seen in a story from Sefer Melachim. After being aided by a woman, Elisha wanted to repay the favor. He offered to intercede with the king on her behalf, but she respectfully declined, saying, “I sit amongst my people.” The Zohar Hakadosh says that this conversation between the woman and Elisha happened on Rosh Hashana. Elisha offered to speak to Hashem, the king of kings, on her behalf; but she refused, saying that she’d rather be with her people. The woman was afraid that if she would be singled out before Hashem by Elisha’s prayers, her sins would be all too apparent. By choosing to be judged with all the Jews, she taps into the communal merit of the Jewish people, overshadowing any nasty details of her spiritual account. This idea still very much applies today. For example, Rav Elchonon Wasserman refused to take an Aliyah in Rosh Hashana for fear of being singled out. Also, In the Beit Hamidrash of Kelm, a note was posted urging students to cultivate an atmosphere specifically of unity in the days leading up to Rosh Hashana.
This should be great news to hear! By identifying yourself as part of the community you can dilute your judgement on Rosh Hashana. You’re saved! Theoretically… This only works if you truly identify with the Jewish people and genuinely feel the responsibility of Arevut. If you only identify will the Klal when it suits you, you’ll be singled out in your judgement and every little detail of your spiritual account will be under the microscope. So what has to be done? We have to help Klal Yiroel. We have to volunteer at the Shul picnic. We have to help support a local shiur by attending. We have to pay our membership fees. We have to visit the sick and help the poor, not only because it’s a Mitzvah in and of itself, but because we are responsible for one another. We are brothers and sisters, parents and children, friends and countrymen. Shabbat Shalom!