כ"ו אב, תשע"ו


6:00 AM
7:00 AM
7:05 PM


Congregation Yehuda Moshe is an Orthodox synagogue located in Lincolnwood, Illinois meeting the diverse needs of our Jewish community. In addition to twice-daily Minyanim, we offer adult classes, a fully functional Mikvah, and a variety of events throughout the year. We have classes that appeal to the needs of everyone young or old, beginner or Torah scholar. Our congregation is made up of diverse individuals with wide-ranging backgrounds. Our goal is to warmly welcome and spiritually inspire our members, our guests, and the entire Jewish community. Most of the community is enclosed within an Eruv (Please contact the Shul office or click on the Eruv link along the left side of this page, for current Eruv information). Whether you're just visiting our area or considering a move to Lincolnwood or South Skokie, come spend a Shabbat with us. We're confident you'll find the experience spiritually enriching, warm, and just plain fun. New members of all levels of observance are always welcomed. We are centrally located, just 5 blocks from the Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore, and we're just 15 minutes from Downtown Chicago or 15 minutes from O'Hare Airport.


In the beginning of this week's parsha the Torah states, "And it will be if you listen to the Mitzvos." The Torah uses the word "Eikev" to mean "if". The Torah promises blessings upon the Jewish...


This week’s Parasha of Bechukosai begins with a series of assurances regarding the prosperity and security of Israel. They are but conditional guarantees, for G-d promises that rains shall water...


Torah and Tea

The hosts for this week's Torah and Tea are the families in the Barclay Place and will be in the apartment of Dr. Naphtali & Judith Gutstein, beginning at 4:30 PM. Evelyn Yellin will present current events in Israel. Rabbi Michael Macks will speak about "Practical Ways to Love G-d."

One Word at a Time

Please remember to select a ½ hour period between 6 AM and 11:00 PM to make an additional effort to abstain from Lashon Hara. The morning time slots have filled. There are some late afternoon and evening slots available. May the merit of our efforts assist Ronnie Slovin for a continued recovery.

All Occasion Cards

We have beautiful cards that can be purchased for a donation to the shul. The cards can be sent for a celebration or in honor of another person. Please see Geri Jankelovitz or call the office for more information.


In the beginning of this week's parsha the Torah states, "And it will be if you listen to the Mitzvos." The Torah uses the word "Eikev" to mean "if". The Torah promises blessings upon the Jewish nation. There is one caveat, however. These blessings are only bestowed with one condition -- "if you shall listen to the word of G-d  and fulfill his commandments." Rashi, who usually concentrates on the simple explanations, deviates from his norm. In his commentary to the opening line of the parsha, he translates the word "Eikev" in an entirely different light. He explains that the word "eikev" translates as heel. He explains the verse based upon a midrash. "If you will observe Mitzvos that are ordinarily trampled upon by the heel of your foot," then the blessings of G-d shall follow.

Rabbi Mordechai Kaminetzky poses the following question: Rashi's usual style is to first explain a verse in its simple explanation. Then he proceeds to expound the verse in a Midrashic light. In this case, Rashi uses only a Midrashic explanation. Why?

Rabbi Kaminetzky explains that perhaps Rashi is telling us the secret of spiritual survival - the formula that may be the secret to the Jew's existence and continuity. It's the small things - the Mitzvos we tend to forget - those we trample with our heel – it is those that merit the blessings

There are certain Mitzvos that anyone who prides himself as a Jew would not forgo -Yom Kippur, Pesach, Mezuzah and kashrus. But there are too many others that get trampled.

Rashi explains the verse by stating that if the little Mitzvos are ignored, it will not take long before the major Mitzvos join the little ones on their trek to oblivion. The baby will be thrown out with the bathwater.

The Torah promises us the bounty of its blessing if we observe the mitzvos. But Rashi gives us a lesson in assuring continuity. In the American colonies the saying was “don’t tread on me.” Rashi is telling us the simple meaning. “Don't tread on me” - the little Mitzvos. Watch the Mitzvos that everyone tends to forget. If those “heel” commandments will be considered important, then all the Mitzvos will ultimately be observed.



This week’s Parasha of Bechukosai begins with a series of assurances regarding the prosperity and security of Israel. They are but conditional guarantees, for G-d promises that rains shall water the fields, lands will give produce, few shall chase the many and peace will finally grace the Promised Land—“if in my ways you will follow and you observe My commandments and perform them” (Leviticus 26:3). The problem, Rashi identifies, is that the objects of the if statement are redundant. If the fulfillment of the Mitzvahs is covered by the clause ‘observe my commandments and perform them,’ what then is meant by ‘Im Bechukosai Tailachu—If in my ways you will follow?’
Many of the commentators write about the matter, and I would like to augment the existing literature with a theory of my own. First, we must differentiate between the Creator and His creations. The Torah is the L-rd’s creation, and as Rashi explains, we are obliged to toil in the Torah, as it is the source of Jewish identity and continuity. However, there is also the Creator, the One on whose behalf we are commanded to toil. What is our relationship to be with Him?
In June 1967, in the aftermath of the Six Day War, Rabbi Chaim Dov Keller of Chicago’s Telshe Yeshiva wrote: “As we reflect on the God wrought miracle which we have been privileged to see and the human miracle of this unprecedented unity of the Jewish people, we must not fail to realize that we are approaching the time of Moshiach.” This is certainly one aspect of following in the ways of G-d: recognizing truly miraculous events for what they are. But what about toiling to appreciate the Creator when all appears natural and mundane? This Thursday morning in my father’s synagogue, at the conclusion of the Torah reading, I was assigned to wrap the Torah scroll with a belt—a task known as Gelila. As I attempted to fasten the Torah, I noticed that the Velcro on the belt had ripped, rendering the belt useless. Our trusty beadle dove into the reading table, where unbeknownst to the rest of the parishioners, an extra belt had been stored. I spent another minute with this second belt before I realized that it was sadly too small and also utterly useless for my cause. The beadle then reemerged with yet another belt, and in the fifth or sixth minute of my Gelila, I triumphantly fastened the Torah with ease—too much ease—as the belt slipped to the bottom of the scroll. From nearby, a longtime member and two-time synagogue President was heard to say, “This is the worst Gelila I have ever seen!” We of the Congregation Yehuda Moshe quorum, a cadre of worshipers gathered to speak with the L-rd, chortled with laughter at the comedic ensemble, chuckling at the manifestation of G-d’s sense of humor in a mundane Torah wrapping.
The story is told about Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, better known as the Kotzker Rebbe, who asked his students, “Where does G-d dwell?” His disciples answered, “Why, everywhere, of course!” Responded the Kotzker: “No, G-d dwells wherever we let G-d in.” Living, particularly growing up and finding one’s way in the world, is certainly no easy task. We yearn for meaning and purpose in all of our endeavors, but such stability is only possible ‘Im Bechukosai Tailachu’—when life itself becomes an element of the extraordinary.
A Guten Shabbas to All and Thank You for Reading.