Shabbat Chanukah/ Mevarchim/ Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat
Friday, December 23
- 06:50 am – Shacharit
- 03:55 pm – Mincha
- 03:57 pm – Candle lighting
- 08:00 pm – Men’s class at the home of Daniel and Bonnie Bitran, 58 Grace Street.
Saturday, December 24
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:27 am – Latest time for Kriat Shema
- 10:30 am – Jr. Congregation
- 11:15 am – Kiddush
- 03:30 pm – Mincha
- 04:00 pm – Se’udah Shlishit
- 04:55 pm – Ma’ariv
- 05:06 pm – Shabbat Ends
December 25 – 30
- 08:00 am – Sunday, Monday (federal holiday)
- 06:40 am – Tuesday, Wednesday, (Chanukah) and Thursday
- 06:50 am – Friday
- 04:00 pm – Sunday – Friday
- 04:30 pm – Sunday – Thursday
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Weekly Words of Torah
Stages in Avodat Hashem
Insights into Parshat Miketz of Mr. Rephael Jacob of Yeshivat Sha’alvim adapted from Rav M. Miller’s Shabbat Shiurim 5729 , by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
Klal Yisrael must experience four periods of galut: Bavel, Pras, Yavan, and Edom (which we are still in), before the final redemption. During the Yavan exile, about 150 years before the Chanukah story, the Greek king Ptolemy summoned 70 Elders to translate the Torah into Greek. Although miraculously they translated it the same exact way, Chazal comments the day they completed was as disastrous to Yisrael as the day the Golden Calf was made. The Shulchan Aruch states that this day was the 8th of Tevet and many fast on this day. Can it really be so bad to translate the Torah, for we know Moshe Rabeinu translated it into 70 languages (Devarim 1:5, Rashi)?
The root of the problem of translating the Torah depends on the motive. This factor can affect even two actions with an identical outcome; one will bring blessings and the other will bring curses. A similar dilemma is brought down in Breishit Raba 49:17. R’ Levi said: two men made the same complaint. Avraham, for the people of Sodom, davened “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked”. Iyov davened “it is all one: that is why I say He consumes both the innocent with the guilty”. Avraham was rewarded and Iyov was punished; Avraham spoke when the time was ripe while Iyov was precipitate. Both complained “Tzadik v’ra lo” (A righteous to whom Evil is being done). The difference is their approach. Avraham’s intent was to make a Kiddush Hashem, to uphold His righteous judgment in the eyes of the world. Therefore he approached Hashem with deliberation and carefully chose his words. Iyov, on the other hand, approached out of personal affliction therefore approached immediately. He did not approach with the intent of making a Kiddush Hashem.
To deny a physical pleasure is a simple test to determine the motive of an act. Our purpose is to use this world to “Mekadesh Shem Shamayim” (Sanctify the Name of Heaven). We eat, sleep, are active etc. to help our service of Hashem. By not just eating when I get an urge to eat shows I eat for a greater purpose than just the pleasure itself. If a person wants to mekadesh an action he must pause and think why he’s doing it.
Yosef Hatzadik- sold as a slave by his brothers, struggled with the test and slander coming from his master’s wife, thrown into a jail cell, interpreted the dreams of the king’s butler and baker, and after this long path of degradation he mistakenly requests “Please remember me when things are well with you and deal kindly with me- mention me to Pharaoh and have me taken out of this place”. Hashem expected Yosef to trust calmly in Him and interpret the dreams only to make a Kiddush Hashem. At that moment Yosef saw an ability to make a personal gain from his Divine given gift. Therefore Hashem decreed two more years in prison so he could work on himself to be able to uplift each of his actions to act purely leshem Shamayim. The last Pasuk of Vayeshev is “The butler did not remember Yosef- and he forgot him”. It was Yosef who forgot the butler. Yosef worked on attaining a level of selflessness that each of his actions should be for Hashem’s sake. Two years later Yosef denies all credit for the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams proclaiming “bil’adai- Elokim ya’anah”- “it is not I, but Hashem who answers”.
Now he was fit for the royal position. Pharaoh called him Tzofnat Paneach, which Rashi interprets as “The one who reveals the hidden”. First Yosef underwent a period of Tzofnat hidden, having a subtle growth period of two years to work on his avodat Hashem in darkness. After this, came the Paneach- the public flourishing of Hashem’s glory.
The same as well occurred with translating the Torah. Only after forty years in the desert removed from all of society, pact in with struggle and effort to understand the Torah’s laws, was the Torah prepared to make its public appearance and able flourish through the world. By Ptolemy though, it was lacking the preparation- the Tzofnat stage, and therefore came into the world- the Paneach stage with impure motive. We learn from this that growth in serving Hashem is a constant avoda which takes time. It should not be rushed. However, if approached correctly the stage of Paneach will Be’ezrat Hashem follow.