Friday, November 30
- 03:50 pm – Mincha
- 03:54 pm – Candle lighting
- 08:00 pm – Men’s Derech Hashem Class at the home of Lev and Jacqueline Novikov, 180 Summer Street #104.
Saturday, December 1
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:13 am – Latest time for Kriat Shema
- 10:30 am – Jr. Congregation
- 11:15 am – Kiddush
- 03:30 pm – Mincha and Se’udah Shlishit
- 04:50 pm – Ma’ariv
- 05:02 pm – Shabbat Ends
- 06:30 pm – Family Bowling at Ryan Family Amusements
- 07:30 pm – 09:00 pm – Pizza Night at the shul.
December 2 – 7
- 08:00 am – Sunday
- 06:40 am – Monday and Thursday
- 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
- 03:55 pm/04:25 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
Insights into Parshat Vayishlach of Mr. Avi Rosalimsky of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Yeshivat Sha’alvim.
In this week’s Parshah Ya’akov Avinu prepares to encounter his brother, Esav. As part of Ya’akov’s tefillah to Hashem at this point, he prays: “Hatzileni Na MiYad Achi Miyad Esav” (Bereshit 32:12). The Bet HaLevi asks why Ya’akov says both “Achi” and “Esav;” he needed only say one or the other. He answers that Ya’akov is teaching us that there are two types of enemies in this world: “Esav”, the enemy who obviously wants to attack and murder us, and the “Achi”, the enemy who makes us feel safe and secure, yet when we are not prepared, spiritually stabs us in the back. Ya’akov was afraid on the one hand that his brother would physically murder him and his family (“Esav”), and on the other hand, that he would create an environment that will lead his family astray (spiritually).
The challenge that Ya’akov Avinu faced teaches us how he epitomized the combination of what Avraham and Yitzchak Avinu dealt with. Avraham spent his life fighting a spiritual battle, trying to constantly be sanctify G-d’s Name in the world despite the rampant idol worship that people were involved with. Alternatively, Yitzchak faced a more physical challenge. Rashi (21:9) quotes the midrash stating that Sarah told Avraham to expel Yishmael from their house because Yishmael was arguing with Yitzchak over Avraham’s yerushah (inheritance), and he was therefore shooting arrows at him.
However, we see based on the Bet HaLevi that Ya’akov faced an enemy who wanted to harm him physically as well as spiritually. Despite this “doubled-edged sword” of Esav, it is clear that at this point, Ya’akov was much more concerned with losing a spiritual battle with Esav as opposed to the physical battle. This is so because Hashem had already promised him, Avraham and Yitzchak, that their descendants would ultimately create a large nation in the future (i.e. he knew that Hashem would keep his promise and wouldn’t allow his family to be physically killed-See Rashi 32:11).
Furthermore, in Parshat Vayeshev, the pasuk states that Ya’akov loved Yosef because he was his “Ben Zekunim”(Bereshit 37:3). One of Rashi’s three interpretations of this is that Ya’akov taught Yosef all that he had learned in the Bet Midrash of Shem and Ever. Rav Ya’akov Kaminetsky asks what did Ya’akov study with Shem and Ever for the 14 years that he was there? Neither the Written Torah nor the Oral Torah were given yet! Rav Kaminetsky explains that in order to answer this question, one must consider who Shem and Ever were. Shem was the son of Noach, who lived amidst a generation of Resha’im who were so immoral that Hashem destroyed the entire world. Similarly, Ever lived during the Dor Ha’pelagah, where he was surrounded by wicked people who built a tower to challenge the authority of Hashem (Rashi to Bereshit 11:1). The commonality between Shem and Ever is that both of them lived in environments that were not to righteousness, yet they both emerged from their respective environments as pious Tzadikim. Therefore, explains Rav Kaminetsky, Shem and Ever taught Ya’akov how to live under great spiritual duress, and still emerge as a Tzadik. This also explains why, at the very beginning of this week’s Parsha, when Ya’akov says, “Im Lavan Garti” (Bereshit 32:5), Rashi adds the line “Taryag Mitzvot Shamarti VeLo Lamadti Mima’asav HaRa’im.” Ya’akov proclaims that he “passed the test” and truly internalized what Shem and Ever taught him. He was able to live in the house of Lavan, and still keep The Word of Hashem.
This conflict is the great challenge to world Jewry today. Maintaining the balance between being “involved” in the outside world, as well as maintaining a sense of Tzidkut, is a challenge that Jews grapple with all over the world. It is our duty to remember that we are the children of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’akov, and even though America is a “Medinah Shel Chesed,”(land of kindness; a phrase used by Rav Moshe Feinstein to describe the United States) we must be cognizant of the great deal of immorality within it. Western culture contains many ideas and philosophies that are totally antithetical to what it means to be a Ben Torah. We should not forget the teachings of Shem and Ever, to stay strong in our Avodat Hashem, even in a less-than-perfect world. May we all find the Koach to rise above the culture that envelops us, and find the true Derech Hashem.