Friday, January 18
- 04:20 pm – Mincha
- 04:22 pm – Candle lighting
- 08:00 pm – Men’s Derech Hashem class in the Bet Midrash
Saturday, January 19
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:32 am – Latest time for Kriat Shema
- 10:30 am – Jr. Congregation
- 11:15 am – Kiddush
- 03:30 pm – B’nos
- 03:50 pm – Mincha and Se’udah Shlishit
- 05:20 pm – Ma’ariv
- 05:32 pm – Shabbat Ends
January 20 – 25
- 08:00 am – Sunday
- 06:40 am – Monday and Thursday
- 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
- 04:25 pm/04:55 pm – Sunday
- 09:00 pm – Monday – Thursday. To confirm for any given day, please contact the shul.
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Weekly Words of Torah
Tefillin: Struggle Between Physical and Spiritual
Insights into Parshat Bo of Mr. Noam Sonnenschein of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
Twice in this week’s parsha, in 13:9 and 13:16 the Torah mentions the mitzvah of tefillin. The pasuk says, “It shall be for you a sign on your arm”. The Sefer Hachinuch in Mitzvah 421 explains that tefillin are supposed to be an aid to man’s spirit in his struggle with the physical. By nature, man would seek all his physical desires if it wasn’t for his neshamah preventing him from sinning. Since the neshamah resides within man, far from its source, it is in danger of being taken over by the physical. This is why both the Chazal and the Rambam mention that we need many safeguards to protect our neshamas from being overruled. They convey the idea of tefillin; by putting it on our head and arm it reminds and protects us from our physical. As R’ Yehudah Halevi states in says in the Kuzari (3:1) “Through Tefillin we sanctify the site of our minds and the wellsprings of our energies in serving the Creator”.
How do we carry this out? By connecting ourselves with the parshiyot that are written inside the Tefillin which talks about the individuality of Hashem and all the special miracles he performed for us. The Ramban elaborates on this in which all miracles have influenced the thinking of the Jewish people throughout the generations. These miracles strengthen our emunah in Hashem. Hashem commands us to remind ourselves daily of these miracles and pass them on to the next generation. Tefillin for us are supposed to be a daily reminder of the greatness of Hashem.
Haketav Vehakebalah describes the foundation of tefillin; they are a symbol of splendor – תפארת. The Targum translates the words in Yechezkel (24:17) “Attach your splendid headdress” and there the word פאר (splendor) is changed to טוטפתר – “Your Tefillin”. The Torah uses the word splendor to refer to spiritual supremacy. The begadim worn by the Kohen are supposed to be ” for glory and splendor”.
Tefillin also are a garment of splendor for the Jewish people. They show that Hashem’s treatment of the Jews is supernatural, above any other nation. The non-jews are commanded to fulfill exclusively commandments based on logic, bound by nature. While the Jews however transcend nature, so too does their conduct. This is that which tefillin, the garments of splendor, exhibits.
The Pri Megadim translates tefillin through the word segregation, in that the tefillin are supposed to separate the Jews from the other nations. Hashem wanted to make this distinction specifically during the Exodus, so we should protect and remember it for fear that it could be diluted over time. Through our observance of mitzvot, especially tefillin, we cause this separation from the physical to be viable and bring us closer to Hashem.