Friday, October 12
- 06:50 am – Shacharit
- 05:45 pm – Mincha
- 05:48 pm – Candle lighting
Saturday, October 13
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:42 am – Latest time for Kriat Shema
- 10:30 am – Jr. Congregation
- 11:15 am – Kiddush
- 04:30 pm – Men’s Derech Hashem class
- 05:20 pm – Mincha and Se’udah Shlishit
- 06:40 pm – Ma’ariv
- 06:55 pm – Shabbat Ends
October 14 – 19
- 08:00 am – Sunday
- 06:40 am – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (Rosh Chodesh), and Thursday
- 06:50 am – Friday
- 05:40 pm – Sunday – Thursday
- 05:35 pm – Friday
- 06:10 pm – Sunday – Thursday
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Weekly Words of Torah
Insights into Parshat Bereshit of Mr. David Weitz of Yeshivat Sha’alvim in the name of Rav Aryeh Lebowitz, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Yeshivat Sha’alvim.
ומפרי העץ אשת בתוך הגן אמר אלקים לא תאכלו ממנו ולא תגעו בו פן תמותון ויאמר הנחש אל האשה לא מות תמותון וגו'”Of the fruit of the tree which is in the center of the garden God said: ‘You shall neither eat of it nor touch it, lest you die.’ The serpent said to the woman, ‘you will surely not surely die.'”- Chavah has just stated in no uncertain terms that God, who they all still recognize as the Creator of the world and the One who is still משגיח over the world, has guaranteed death to anybody who partakes of this fruit. It is difficult to fathom how the snake can have the audacity to deny this obvious fact – לא מות תמותון. What is even more perplexing is how Chavah can fall for it. Why would she believe somebody who is so clearly making things up?
Later in the parsha we find that God gives קין (Kayin) mussar: למה חרה לך ולמה נפלו פניך הלא אם תטיב שאת ואם לא תיטיב לפתח חטאת רובץ. “Why are you annoyed, and why has your countenance fallen? Surely, if you improve yourself, you will be forgiven. But if you do not improve yourself, sin rests at the door.” What exactly is God saying to Kayin – if you do the right thing you will be uplifted, and if you don’t do the right thing – it should have concluded – you will be lowered – תשפילו – What is this odd phrase לפתח חטאת רובץ – the sin rests at the door? What does this phrase imply above and beyond the fact that doing עבירות leads to negative results?
The גר”א explains that when God spoke to Kayin, He was warning Kayin about how to overcome the יצר הרע (yetzer hara, Evil Inclination) – how to make sure that the יצר הרע never gains any control over him. The key in that three word phrase – לפתח חטאת רובץ – when you give him a פתח the sin stampedes all over you. Only when the יצר הרע recognizes the opening does he act and overtake the person.
When חוה speaks to the נחש (who represents the יצר הרע), the נחש was feeling her out to see if she was vulnerable. He was not going to even try to get her to sin if she didn’t first reveal her weakness. He first asks her שמא אמר לכם לא תאכלו מכל כו’ even though he knew that they were eating from everything else. He got her into a conversation to see what, if anything, she would say about the עץ הדעת. But when she began to speak, she made one fatal error – one word that revealed weakness – פן תמותון – MAYBE we will die. She expressed some level of doubt. She wasn’t sure. Once she reveals that she wasn’t sure, and she says פן תמותון the נחש can say לא תמותון – you will not die.
Just after the ימים נוראים we feel very confident in what we know and what we want. Shiur attendances will be up. Spirits are running high from a beautiful simchas torah in our shul and people are feeling a tremendous commitment to our shul and community. Our new year’s resolutions will only last as long as our belief in them remains unquestioned. Once we open the door, even a little bit, to creeping doubts. “Is it really that important to help make the minyan in the morning? Maybe they’ll get ten without me.” “Does the extra seder really have to be done so consistently, will missing a day or a week affect me that much?” How many people have given up the daf because they got a daf or two behind? That is all it takes. Can I still really do this? We must remain firm in our knowledge that we can and will have 100% faith in all of the mitzvot we have accepted upon ourselves.