Parshat Vayechi Schedule

Shabbat Chazak Schedule

Friday, January 6

  • 06:50 am – Shacharit
  • 04:05 pm – Mincha
  • 04:08 pm – Candle lighting
  • 08:00 pm – Men’s class at the home of Lev and Jacqueline Novikov, 226 Clifton Street #2 (knock on the window to the right of the front porch).

Saturday, January 7

  • 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
  • 08:45 am – Shacharit
  • 09:32 am – Latest time for Kriat Shema
  • 10:30 am – Jr. Congregation
  • 11:15 am – Shabbat Chazak Kiddush
  • 03:40 pm – Mincha
  • 04:10 pm – Se’udah Shlishit
  • 05:05 pm – Ma’ariv
  • 05:17 pm – Shabbat Ends

January 8 – 13


  • 08:00 am – Sunday
  • 06:40 am – Monday and Thursday
  • 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday


  • 04:15 pm – Sunday – Friday


  • 04:45 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

Goodbye Assimilation

Insights into Parshat Vayechi of Mr. Yonatan Siev of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.

Parshat Vayechi brings Sefer Bereshit to a close, the era of the Avot coming to an end with Yaakov Avinu’s passing, and the wheels of the forthcoming enslavement beginning to turn. Before his death, Yaakov had one last request to his son, Yosef: Bury me in Eretz Yisrael. Interestingly, at this point in the Parsha, Yaakov is referred to as “Yisrael”, as he is again when he blesses Efraim and Menashe. Why by these two episodes is he called by this name? Furthermore, the fact that he is even blessing Efraim and Menashe piques curiosity. Yaakov had many grandchildren. Why did these two deserve to be blessed any more than the other grandchildren?

The “Melting Pot” is a key part of American society. A nation made up various backgrounds and cultures, America is home to intense ethnic blending. As the generations continue, they drift further and further from their own culture and enter deeper and deeper into mainstream society. In most cases, they do not abandon their culture, but it generally takes a back seat, something pulled out during holidays and family gatherings. This is not only true by America but really by any country. There is always assimilation. Egypt was no different.

The fact that Yosef not only remained unaffected by the surrounding society, but was even able to raise children without having them tainted, is beyond incredible. They were celebrities. They were the royal family. Can we imagine some big actor in Hollywood being a social outcast? Like any celebrity, Yosef and his sons should have been totally immersed in Egyptian culture. They should have taken advantage of their high status to reap all benefits from society. But they didn’t.

Efraim and Menashe were chosen to be blessed, and even merited being their very own Shevatim, because of their spiritual might. They had accomplished what no other grandson had. Despite the unbelievable challenge of assimilation, they rose above. We bless our own sons that they should be like Efraim and Menashe: they should muster that same spiritual strength and stay strong in a very absorbing society. When it comes time to bless Efraim and Menashe, Yaakov is called “Yisrael”, a name which connotes spiritual strength (which he received after his battle with the Angel of Esav), because his spiritual “muscles” were in motion. He realized that the Galut had begun, and his blessings were intended to carry his children through these dire straits. These blessings were being given by someone who knew what it meant to undergo spiritual struggle. They were given by Yisrael.

Yaakov is also called “Yisrael” by his request to Yosef to shows us another element of the Jew of the Diaspora. It is insufficient to simply “not assimilate”. We must never forget where we belong. Especially now, when we are so comfortable and accepted in certain parts of the world, we cannot lose sight of where our true home is. Yaakov was sent into Galut, but never lost sight of where his true place was. His dying wish, so important that he made his son swear to uphold it, was to return to Eretz Yisrael. And it is for that strength, not just the resistance of assimilation, but to never forget his home, that he was called “Yisrael”. It was comfortable living in Egypt. He lived a life of royalty, his son the viceroy of the most powerful nation at that time, and yet he never felt comfortable away from the holy soil of his homeland. Our Galut has been long and hard, and we have much to learn from our forefather. We cannot assimilate; we cannot simply be absorbed into the Melting Pot and watch ourselves dissolve. We cannot forget. Hashem did not give us New York. There is no Mitzvah to live in Jersey. There is no Kedusha to the sandy beaches of Miami. We have a home. Be’Ezrat Hashem we should all be zocheh to be there, Bimhera B’Yamenu.