Shabbat Mevarchim Schedule
Friday, November 9
- 06:50 am – Shacharit
- 04:05 pm – Mincha
- 04:09 pm – Candle lighting
- 08:00 pm – Men’s Derech Hashem class at the shul
Saturday, November 10
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 08:58 am – Latest time for Kriat Shema
- 10:30 am – Jr. Congregation
- 11:15 am – Kiddush
- 03:40 pm – Mincha and Se’udah Shlishit
- 05:05 pm – Ma’ariv
- 05:16 pm – Shabbat Ends
November 11 – 18
- 08:00 am – Sunday
- 06:40 am – Monday and Thursday
- 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
- 04:05 pm/04:35 pm – Sunday ONLY
- 09:00 pm – Monday – Thursday
- To confirm the late minyan for ma’ariv on any given day, please contact the shul.
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
Signs and Decisions
Insights into Parshat Chaye Sarah of Mr. Binyomin Barman of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Yeshivat Sha’alvim.
Parshat Chaye Sarah highlights the power of simanim (signs). Eliezer chooses a wife for Yitzchak after saying whoever comes first to offer him a drink will be Yitzchak’s wife. Rivka comes out right away, and it happens to be that she was related to Avraham Avinu’s family. It was clearly Min Shamayim, orchestrated by Heaven, and it powerfully conveys the power of simanim, signs sent our way.
However, despite the power of simanim, not all “simanim” should be taken so followed. A person who had failed plans can claim that it was a Siman from Hashem that it wasn’t meant to be, but one needs to analyze the situation to see if that is correct. An example of this type of sign can be derived from Bil’am. When Bil’am wanted to curse Klal Yisrael, the donkey turned to the side and wouldn’t move. There was actually an angel blocking his way because the angel didn’t want Bil’am to curse Klal Yisrael.
Simanim can also be dangerous. Sometimes, what we think is a Siman is actually the Satan trying to block Klal Yisrael from doing what they want to accomplish. An example of that was from last week’s Parsha. The Midrashim explain what Avraham went through during the Akedah; the Satan tried to convince him that it was irrational. The Satan was so good that it’s explained that he turned into a river to try to block Avraham from proceeding. Avraham went in all the way to his neck and then the river receded.
Similarly, one must always be cautious. Even when things seem like they are going well, it may not always be the case. If so, then, how is one to make decisions? The answer is to use our seichel (intellect)! One needs to take in all the variables and decide whether this is what Hashem wants. The ultimate challenge is to continue even in the face of challenges.
There is an additional tool to use when attempting to arrive at proper decisions. The Mishna in Pirkei Avot says: “עשה לך רב והסתלק מן הספק ואל תרבה לעשר אמדות”—“Choose for yourself a Rav, go away from situations of doubt, and don’t take Ma’aser (a tithe) by approximation [instead of measuring]” (1:16). The Maharal offers the following interpretation. He maintains that there is a common theme whenever there are several teachings compiled in one Mishna. “עשה לך רב” appears twice throughout Pirkei Avot, each for a different concept. The principle of this, argues the Maharal, is to help one do things with certainty and not confusion. The goal of a personal Rav circles around this concept. A Rav can often offer insight in situations of uncertainty, even in areas outside of halacha.
Simanim are there for us as a wake-up call. Eliezer didn’t just say that the first woman to come out in a blue dress would be Yitzchok’s wife. He used a siman that highlighted Chesed. Which woman would run to Chesed for this stranger? That was the person who Eliezer wanted as a wife for Yitzchak.
The lesson is clear. Simanim can be a powerful tool, but they must be used intelligently and at times with the consultation of others to arrive at the proper decision. The more we work on perfecting our decisions, the better we perfect our Avodat Hashem!